Armed response officers arrest gun-toting robber on a bus in Runcorn

Runcorn and Widnes World: David Williamson David Williamson

AN armed robber who threatened to bomb Harrods was arrested getting off a bus in Runcorn after raiding a currency exchange in Warrington.

David Williamson, aged 50, of no fixed abode, was jailed for 10 years after being convicted of a series of armed robberies and bomb threats across London.

He was found guilty of two robberies, three offences of possessing an imitation, one of which was with intent to cause fear of violence. He was also convicted of five charges of making hoax bomb calls.

Williamson had threatened staff at a bureau de change in the Golden Square shopping centre with a gun and fled with £4,000.

He was tracked on CCTV catching a bus.

Armed response officers were dispatched and eventually stopped the bus at Runcorn town centre where he was arrested, still carrying an imitation firearm and the stolen money.

Officers from the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad became involved after fingerprints recovered from earlier armed robberies at The Delmere Hotel in Hyde Park and The Money Shop in Kent matched those of Williamson.

Before the robbery spree, Williamson made four phone calls to police on October 14, 2013, claiming that there were several explosive devices planted across central London and on the rail network.

On the same day, he went to Harrods and left a note warning that an explosive device had been planted.

Detective Constable Joseph Agyei from the Flying Squad said: "These were terrifying attacks committed in broad daylight and caused all the victims involved to fear for their lives.

“Williamson showed an utter disregard for the victims he targeted in public places.”

DC Neil Radley from Cheshire Police, said: "Williamson armed himself and threatened staff at a shop in Warrington, leaving them fearing for their lives. This was a terrifying experience for all those involved. He showed complete disregard not only for the law but also for the safety and wellbeing of the victims.

"I would like to thank everyone who came forward and supported the case and I hope that the successful conclusion will help to bring about a degree of closure for them.

“Robbery is a serious enough crime in itself but when the offender commits that crime armed with a weapon it adds to the impact of it.

"The sentence handed down to Williamson reflects the seriousness of his crimes and we hope that the time behind bars will allow him to reflect upon his actions.

“Cheshire Police is committed to tackling robbery - we take any incidents of this nature extremely seriously and will do all we can to trace those responsible and ensure they are brought to justice. In this case Williamson was swiftly located and arrested nearby."

Williamson was sentenced at Kingston Crown Court on March 12.

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