THREE men and a woman have appeared in court charged in connection with a string of robberies at banks across the south, including one in Hampshire.

As reported by the Daily Echo a gang staged a hold up of a G4 security van as it pulled up outside an HSBC branch in Chandler's Ford last November.

Thousands of pounds was thought to have been stolen during the robbery where a cash box was handed over by a courier who was delivering money to the branch on Winchester Road.

The car thought to have been used by the gang was found dumped less than half a mile away in Shaftesbury Avenue.

Following the incident, officers from Hampshire worked with a national unit that investigates organised crime groups, after other similar robberies were reported in Gloucester, Berkshire and Somerset.

Four people were subsequently charged with four robberies and two attempted robberies and appeared before Basingstoke magistrates.

Leroy Hall, 35, from Streatham, London and Leon McKenzie, 32, from Orpington, Kent, were remanded in custody and Clifford Griffiths, 35, from Mitcham, London, and Jacqueline Smith, 34, of Mitcham, London, were released on bail.

They will all appear at Winchester Crown Court later in the month.

The hold up of the transit van in Chandlers Ford was the second time the branch had been targeted. In a completely unconnected raid two armed men were shot dead by police marksmen when they attempted a robbery in September 2007.