Women robbed at knifepoint by masked thugs who stole their cars

A teacher has described the terrifying moment she was robbed at knifepoint in Oldham.

The 26-year-old had been walking her dog in Tandle Hill Park in Royton with a teaching friend when they were confronted by masked thugs.

One of them pulled out a knife and threatened the women, demanding they hand over their car keys, which they did.

Two men then got into the victims’ vehicles – an orange Fiat Punto and a black Seat Leon – and drove off towards Rochdale.

Two other men, who had been standing nearby ‘keeping watch’, fled in a white Transit van towards Oldham .

One of the victims, who asked to remain anonymous because of her work, says it is scary how something like this can happen in broad daylight, surrounded by dozens of other people.

She told the M.E.N: “We go there all the time with the dog; it’s a nice park. I never could have imagined something like this happening.

“It was a busy night and there were children and families playing.

“We walked for about an hour, then sat down on a picnic bench near the entrance of the park.

“We’d been sat there for about 10 minutes and I noticed these two lads stood behind a tree, peering through at us.

“I told my friend, it was weird and I was concerned, I thought they looked a bit shifty.

“My first thought though wasn’t that they were going to do something to us – there was about 30 people around us who could see us.

The incident happened in Tandle Hill Park

“Then they came from behind the tree, they were in masks up to their noses and had their hoods up. One had this really big knife, and he told us to give them what we had.

“I thought he meant my dog, I was terrified, we didn’t have bags or anything with us.

“I gave him my keys straight away, but my friend, she was brave, she said she had come with me and didn’t have them.

“But they screamed at her, saying they’d search her, and she was forced to hand them over.”

The woman said a few people saw what happened and tried to help. One man chased them in his car and managed to get a number plate for the Transit van.

“They’d been waiting, looking for some sort of target,” she added.

“If it hadn’t been us it would have been someone else.

“They seemed so cocky in what they were doing, I’d be surprised if they didn’t do it again.”

The incident, which happened at around 8.30pm on Tuesday, is now being investigated by police.

Police described the robbers as ‘Asian men carrying a knife’, but no further details on their ages or clothing have been released.

Det Insp Ian Harratt, from GMP’s Oldham borough, said: “This was a brazen robbery on two innocent women who were simply having a catch up in the park on a summer’s evening.

“These men terrified them into handing over their keys but thankfully they weren’t hurt in any way.

“We are treating this as an isolated incident and have had no further reports of this nature so far.

“I have a dedicated team working on this investigation and we are currently trawling through CCTV and carrying out extensive enquiries.

“We have already located the orange Fiat in Werneth and are still working to locate the second car and the offenders.

“We believe these men were at the entrance to the park shortly before this robbery and I would urge anyone who saw them to please get in touch.

“I would also appeal to the communities of Oldham and Rochdale who might have seen the cars or know something about this incident.”

Anyone with any information is asked to call police on 0161 856 8972 quoting incident number 2183 of June 12.

Alternatively, information can be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

This article originally appeared here via Google News