Masked gang tie up staff in raid on paper

Telegraph: splashed on attack

Four journalists attacked and tied up by a masked gang wielding baseball bats while working late at the Peterborough Evening Telegraph on Tuesday have been praised for their bravery by editor Kevin Booth.

Sports reporter Alan Swann and photographers David Lowndes, Alan Storer and Adam Fairbrother were forced to lie face down on the floor before being tied hand and foot with electrical cord.

The gang of four, wearing masks and scarves, entered the Evening Telegraph’s offices in Priest Gate at around 11pm and escaped with thousands of pounds worth of computer and photographic gear.

The journalists were in the office after covering a football match when the masked men burst in and shouted at them to get down on the floor. They were carrying baseball bats and fire extinguishers.

Swann said: "It was scary. They made lots of threats. They said they were going to cut us." Lowndes, who has worked at the Evening Telegraph for 28 years, was kicked by the raiders.

He said: "We had to lie on the floor. You could hear them going through the camera bags. It is not the sort of thing you expect to happen in a city centre office at 11pm. The office is like a home to us."

The gang stole Fairbrother’s car to help make their getaway. The staff released themselves after being tied up for an hour.

Booth, speaking on Wednesday, said: "Our overriding concern is for the safety and wellbeing of the four journalists subjected to this ordeal.

"They showed immense bravery in the face of danger and like true professionals were back at work today and determined to get the paper out on the streets."

The Evening Telegraph, part of Johnston Press, is reviewing its security equipment and procedures.

By Jon Slattery

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