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Police are looking for armed raiders who stole thousands of pounds in a CIT raid at the Shell filling station at Carrville, near the A690 on the outskirts of Durham City. Three masked men threatened security guards who were carrying cassettes of money from their van to the cash machine and at least one of the guards was threatened with a knife.

The gang escaped in a green 56 registration Nissan Navara which had been parked a few metres from the forecourt. The vehicle was later found abandoned in an alley off Carrville High Street, about 500 metres away.

The site was cordoned off for several hours while crime scene investigators were at work. Police have yet to determine the monetary loss, but the cassettes can hold up to £30,000 and the gang is believed to have escaped with more than one. The cassettes emit orange dye if any attempt is made to open them.

Anyone with information should contact Durham City CID on 0345 6060 365, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.