Balaclavas, gloves, machetes, sledgehammers and a metal grid were recovered from the car after armed officers stopped the vehicle in the town centre shortly before 5pm on Monday 22 March 2010.
The strike follows an operation by Greater Manchester Police’s Force Robbery Unit into the activities of an organised crime group thought to be responsible for a string of serious robberies across Greater Manchester and surrounding areas.
The strike was carried out by firearms officers, the Force Robbery Unit and surveillance officers. Three men, two aged 31 and the other 30, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery and remain in custody for questioning.
Detective Chief Inspector Anthony Creely, of the Force Robbery Unit, said: “The weapons and clothing we have recovered shows we have disrupted a well-orchestrated plan to carry out robberies in the Greater Manchester and surrounding areas. We are committed to safeguarding people from violent, career criminals who do not hesitate to use violence to achieve their aims.”
In 2006, GMP launched Operation Vanguard to target, deter and disrupt the activities of professional armed robbers.
GMP is working closely with the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) and other partner agencies to safeguard CIT vehicles during delivery and pick-up times, by utilising a number of tactics to further protect and offer reassurance to people working in the commercial banking and security industries.
Officers will use a variety of tactics to prevent robberies against cash-handling vehicles, including armed police vehicles escorting high-risk security vehicles as they carry out their normal deliveries, the use of overt and covert CCTV monitoring and patrol cars.
In addition, the Force helicopter will shadow the vehicles from the air during collections or deliveries, enabling any activity to be monitored.