Mayoral chains stolen by masked robber

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ANTIQUE CHAINS of office worn by a mayor have been stolen in a violent street robbery after a ceremony commemorating her town’s war dead.

The gold and diamond chains given to the town of Bury by Queen Victoria were taken when current mayor Michelle Wiseman’s driver was ambushed as he put them into his car on Thursday night.

The attacker, who was wearing a balaclava, hit him with a hammer before grabbing the briefcase containing the chains and escaping in a waiting car driven by an accomplice.

Supt Karan Lee said that the robbers were “calculated and ruthless” and used “extreme force” after waiting for Ms Wiseman and her driver to arrive in the car park in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester.

Ms Lee said: “This is a robbery that hits at the very heart of our town in more ways than one.

“Our mayoral party had just left a service commemorating the lives lost in the Second World War protecting the lives and liberties of every one of us, to then be attacked in this way by persons who have no pride or respect.

“Although the gold and diamond chains are of significant historical and monetary value, having been given to the town of Bury by Queen Victoria, the scrap value will be significantly less than the loss to our heritage.”

The offender escaped in a green VW Polo after the attack in a car park in Stand Lane. A reward on offer is worth up to £10,000, according to the council.

The mayor’s driver suffered muscle damage in his shoulder and was treated at the scene. His attacker is believed to be white and aged between 30 and 40.