Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Suspect appeal over Lymington kidnapping

Police are appealing for a suspected armed robber to surrender after a woman in her 60s was kidnapped and a car stolen in Hampshire.

A man with a gun threatened a couple at a house in Rookes Lane, Lymington, on Friday morning.

He then stole the couple's car, forcing the woman to go with him while he drove erratically around the area. She was later returned.

Hampshire Police called on the suspect to "do the right thing".

The woman was not injured, but a man in his 70s received a minor head injury during an altercation with the suspect inside the house where he demanded money.

'Reckless choices'

Ch Insp Tony Rowlinson said: "I am appealing directly to the suspect to consider the consequences of his actions.

"From our initial enquiries, we understand you might be facing personal and painful circumstances in which you feel trapped and desperate for money. However, think long and hard about the distress and fear you are causing.

"I am imploring you to explore your conscience and do the right thing by contacting police to tell us where you are before you make any more reckless choices, which would hurt innocent people. Please phone us on 101."

The suspect abandoned the Peugeot 207 convertible car in Newenham Road, police said.

Officers added they were linking this robbery to a similar incident at Brockenhurst railway station on 5 December.

It is not clear if the gun the man was brandishing was real or an imitation firearm but members of the community are urged to be alert and report any suspicious behaviour.

'Waved at driver'

Mr Rowlinson advised the public not to approach the suspect.

"Do not approach him; his behaviour is unpredictable, and he could become distressed and agitated if approached," he said.

Police also wish to speak to the driver of a 4x4 vehicle which stopped in West Lane in Lymington to allow the Peugeot to drive past while the robber was at the wheel.

"The woman has told police she waved at the 4x4 driver, who waved back, but did not appear to realise the reality of the situation inside the Peugeot," Mr Rowlinson said.

The offender is described as white, aged between 35-55 years old, 5ft 10in, of average build, with dark hair.

He was wearing a dark coloured beanie hat, which was folded up, and had a pair of swimming goggles over his eyes.

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