Police are appealing to the public for further information following the robbery of a van from a locksmith in the Clifton area of Salford.
Officers were called shortly after midnight on Friday 15 May 2020 to reports that a black Ford Transit van containing around £50,000’s worth of work equipment was stolen from an address on Kestrel Avenue.
Two men are understood to have approached a locksmith in his 70s – while he was sat in his van programming a key for a client – before proceeding to grab and punch him so they could get into his van.
The first man reached through the open window of the van’s door and took the keys out of the ignition while the second man attacked the victim by punching him and pulling him out of the vehicle.
The offenders then fled from the scene in the van, along with the locksmith’s work equipment.
The man received minor injuries and did not require hospital treatment but was dropped off by police to his home in Lancashire as he was left with no alternative way back.
Enquiries made by detectives have since established that the locksmith may have actually been booked by the offenders via a third party who had claimed they had lost their key.
It is believed that the men involved are linked to a silver Fiat Punto and a white transit van which was also seen in the area at the time of the incident.
They are described as white men in their 20s and were both wearing a black hoodie.
No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.
Detective Constable Katie Halstead, of GMP’s Salford division, said: “This is a horrific incident in which an innocent elderly man has had his livelihood stolen from him during a frightening and violent attack which has left him incredibly shaken.
“The fact that the victim had already been working for four hours and was still trying to assist others late into the evening when he was subjected to this random and vicious attack makes this all the more shocking – particularly at such a difficult time.
“One line of enquiry is that the perpetrators actually booked the locksmith via a third party, which could make this a targeted attack and one that is of an even more sinister nature.
“I am appealing to anyone who may have been around the area at the time and recognises the descriptions of the vehicles or the offenders to contact police with whatever information you have – no matter how small you think it may be.
“We have also released an image of the van that was stolen by the offenders and we urge anyone who recognises this vehicle to contact us about its whereabouts.”
Anyone with any information is urged to contact police on 0161 856 5274 quoting incident number 02 of 15/05/2020. Details can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.