Sunday, September 25, 2016

Cross-dressing clown in alleged shop robbery

Police are appealing to the public to help find a woman’s dress and clown mask worn during an alleged robbery at a Teesdale supermarket. The incident took place at the Co-op in Middleton-in-Teesdale at 9.20pm on Wednesday when a man entered the shop clad in the dress, mask and dark coloured footwear.

Detective Michael Rutherford, of Bishop Auckland CID, said the man was challenged by employees who were left frightened while one member of staff was assaulted. The suspect made off with nine boxes of cigarettes. Despite searches conducted in the area, the items of clothing have not been found and officers are keen to identify where the clothing came from.

The dress is described as dark in colour and appears to have a light-coloured circular pattern, possibly floral in design. It is short-sleeved and is estimated to be ankle length while the clown mask is white with fake hair attached. Residents in Middleton-in-Teesdale are asked to check their gardens and property to help locate the items which may have been discarded shortly after the offence.

A man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and has been released on police bail while enquiries continue. DC Rutherford said: “It is considered to be a rare incident in this location.” Anyone who has recently seen any person wearing a similar combination of clothing, has experienced the theft of this clothing, or have found similar clothing discarded in the Middleton-in-Teesdale area are urged to contact South Durham CID.

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