Villager chases armed post office thieves on combine harvester

Hinderwell Post Office. Picture: Scott Wicking

Hinderwell Post Office. Picture: Scott Wicking

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A PAIR of armed robbers at a village post office in North Yorkshire were hunted down by a trio of have-a-go heroes - one who chased them thieves on his combine harvester.

Farmer Tom Harland, along with postman Simon McCluskey and John McDonagh hunted down gunman Andrew Waldron, 22, and masked sidekick Joseph Crosby, 50, after they stormed a post office, armed with an air pistol.

York Crown Court heard Waldron waved the P17 air pistol at postmaster Mike Bunn’s head while Crosby demanded he filled a bag with cash.

Mr Bunn, whose wife Christine was working behind the counter at Hinderwell Post Office, North Yorkshire, managed to retreat to a back room for a pick-axe handle, as the robbers made their escape.

But the men, both wearing balaclavas, were spotted making a run for it down the high street by local residents just after the raid at around 12.45pm on August 11.

Mr McDonagh, who was visiting the local area with his partner, followed the pair in his car and managed to restrain Crosby with the help of Mr Harland and Mr McCluskey.

Waldron was found hiding in bushes by another villager who held him down until police arrived.

Crosby of Stokesley, and Waldron were charged with attempted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm.

Waldron admitted both offences, while Crosby denied possessing the firearm, but was found guilty of the offence after trial.

Mr Bunn told the court he and his wife, who are both in their 60s, initially thought Crosby and Waldron had come in dressed in gloves and balaclavas as a “joke, but in bad taste”.

Crosby and Waldron, who had cased the post office for about a month, told police they carried out the robbery to pay back a large drug debt.

Crosby told officers that the dealer they owed money to was the getaway driver, but he has never been caught.

Mr Bunn said he and his wife have suffered sleepless nights, nausea and flashbacks since the raid.

The court heard the robbery had a “huge impact” on the whole village.

Crosby, who has previous convictions for theft, fraud and smuggling, claimed he had no idea a gun would be used.

However his trial heard he had passed the weapon to Waldron on their journey to the post office.

Waldron was jailed for six years and Crosby was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

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