Sussex Police are appealing for witnesses to a robbery on the forecourt of Sainsbury’s service station at John MacAdam Way, St Leonards on Sea, at 7.30 am on Monday 25 July.
The robbery occurred as the driver of an Iveco eight-tonne truck was in the rear of this vehicle preparing to unload items intended for the service station shop.
The delivery vehicle was parked up on the forecourt at the far side of the service station, nearest Sedlescombe Road North, and a white Peugeot Boxer van, driven by a white man, pulled up behind it.
Two other men, both white, about 5’ 9" in dark clothing and wearing ski type masks to obscure their faces jumped out of the side of the van and climbed into the back of the delivery vehicle
They pushed the driver to the rear inside while they stole cigarettes from inside. One threw them out of the rear of the delivery vehicle to the second who loaded them into the Peugeot van.
After several minutes the two offenders shut the driver in the rear of his vehicle and left in the Peugeot van. The delivery driver managed to raise the attention of a customer by shouting for help. He was released unhurt from the vehicle and was able to raise the alarm.
The quantity and value of the cigarettes has not been released.
Detective constable Ian Dearling said: “This was clearly a planned attack and proved to be a frightening experience for the delivery driver. We are asking anyone who was on the forecourt of the Sainsbury’s service station at that time and who saw the white Peugeot van pull up next to the delivery lorry, to contact us.
“In particular we would like to trace the person who released the driver from the vehicle. There were also a number of people buying fuel and using the shop while this was going on, who may not have realised what was happening.”
Anyone with information can contact Sussex police via email@example.com or call 101 quoting serial 225 of 25/7. Alternatively the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555111 or at www.crimestoppers-org.uk