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Could CCTV image show the New Forest gunman?
THEY are pieces of a jigsaw police hope will lead them to the gunman who has brought terror to Hampshire.
Detectives have revealed they believe an armed robber who held up a driver at a railway station and ten days later kidnapped a woman from her home could be a married dad facing a desperate financial crisis this Christmas.
They think, from conversations he had with his victims who he threatened to shoot, he could also be a failed New Forest businessman whose company went bust five years ago.
Today the Daily Echo can reveal bizarre new details about both robberies as well as the fact Hampshire police are nowliaising with colleagues in Dorset over whether a gunman who held up a post office in Highcliffe on Tuesday could also be their man.
Detectives leading the New Forest’s biggest manhunt have also released a chilling recording of the gunman, extracted from a 999 call from one of the victims, and made an urgent plea to anyone who knows him to do the right thing – help them find him.
It was around 6.30am on December 5 when the robber first struck in Brockenhurst train station car park.
Laying in wait against a bush on the opposite side of the road, he pounces as his victim arrives, parks his Porsche and makes his way towards the station.
Brandishing the gun, he orders the man back into the passenger seat of the car, takes the keys and drives off towards Lymington.
Moments later he turns around, drives his victim back to the HSBC bank in Brockenhurst and demands he withdraw a large sum of cash.
He then drives the man out to a remote car park off Rhinefield Road, steals his iPhone and dumps him there – after arranging to leave the Porsche, with its keys hidden, at the side of the road in nearby Sway.
Nine days later, on Friday, December 14, the gunman struck again while his victims, a 64-year-old woman and a man aged 70, were at home in Rookes Lane, Lymington.
This time he was wearing what are thought to be swimming goggles, a distinctive orange fluorescent top, a beanie style hat and a tartan scarf.
Police know that shortly before, at around 10am, he had been seen in nearby Ridgeway Road where he wandered into the driveway of a home but was disturbed by the owner who shouted at him from a window.
The robber claimed he was lost, was looking for another house and then left. Just over 30 minutes later he struck – confronting the woman in the driveway of her home and marching her at gunpoint back inside.
It was then that the chilling voice of the gunman – which can be heard here – was relayed to police during a 999 call.
In it he can be heard telling the male victim: “I’m going to leave you here, I’m going to take your wife...
you can ring the police in two minutes, we’ll be round the corner.”
He then kidnapped the woman and forced her into the passenger seat of her Peugeot 207 car before taking her on a ten-minute drive towards the village of Everton where they had a near-miss with a sandy-coloured 4x4 at the narrow junction of West Lane.
Having been convinced by his victim not to dump her in the Forest, he made the bizarre decision to drive her home again – stopping to collect his bag that he had left behind – before he drove off and abandoned the car just yards away in Newenham Road.
There he stripped to his underpants before changing into a dark jacket and trousers and escaping on foot.
A - 6.30am, December 5. Gunman strikes and threatens to shoot victim at Brockenhurst Railway
B - HSBC, Brockenhurst, where victim is forced to withdraw a large sum of money
C - Puttles Bridge car park, where victim is dumped from his own Porsche and gunman drives off.
D - Railway bridge, where gunman dumps the Porsche, having agreed with the victim to leave it there with the keys.
E - 10am, Friday, December 14. Ridgeway Lane, Lymington. Gunman acting suspiciously in the driveway of a home, dressed in orange fluorescent top and wearing goggles.
F - 10.45am. Rookes Lane. Gunman strikes at home of couple and threatens to shoot, punching man aged 70 andkidnapping his wife, 64.
G - Crown Inn, West Lane, Everton. Robber is behind the wheel of couple’s Peugeot 207
with victim in passenger seat. They have a near-miss with a sandy-coloured 4x4.
H - Newenham Road. After dropping victim home and fleeing with £100 cash he dumps couple’s car and then strips to his underpants before changing his clothes and making off on foot.
Post Office Raid - Is it the New Forest gunman?
AN armed raider burst into a Highcliffe Post Office in Lymington Road and demanded cash in front of horrified customers.
He escaped with an undisclosed sum of money after the raid on Tuesday at 9.30am.
The man, whose face was covered with a scarf, fled in the direction of Christchurch.
The post office – which is just eight miles away from where a gunman struck in Lymington – was closed for the rest of the morning to allow officers to gather evidence.
The offender is described as white, in his 40s, around 6ft and of medium build. He was wearing a black anorak, a black beanie hat with a grey stripe, greyrimmed glasses and a black scarf over his face.