Kent police seek Ilfracombe man over hotel bomb hoax
Man threatened staff with gun and demanded cash.
POLICE have released CCTV images of a man they want to talk to in connection with a terrifying incident in a Kent hotel.
A man, thought to have links to Ilfracombe, threatened a staff member at the Hythe Imperial Hotel near Folkestone, claiming he was a police officer and asking to see the manager.
He is then alleged to have brandished a handgun before demanding a large amount of money and informing staff that there was a bomb in the hotel.
The hotel was evacuated and the army’s bomb disposal squad was called as a precaution.
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Firearms officers carried out a thorough search of the hotel following the incident just before 10.30am on Friday, September 28. No devices were found and the building was declared safe at 6pm.
CCTV images released in Kent have prompted several calls to police reporting several sightings in the Hythe area.
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The suspect is also reported to have a West Country accent and told a witness that he was brought up in the Ilfracombe area.
Detective Inspector Emma Banks said: “We would appeal to anyone in the Ilfracombe area to look at the CCTV images and see if they recognise the man.
“We only know that he has told a witness that he originates from Ilfracombe, we do not know if he has lived there recently or only as a young person.”
The man is described as a 55-70-year-old white man, 5ft 6ins to 5ft 10ins tall, of medium build. He has grey receding hair, a gold hooped earring, tanned complexion and blue eyes.
He was wearing a beige raincoat, dark coloured trousers (possibly cords) a smart shirt, and smart black shoes, which were leather in appearance.
The man was carrying a dark-coloured bag with handle and strap. He was seen to smoke a cigarette.
Anyone who knows the man or has information about his whereabouts is asked to ring Kent Police on 101, quoting ZY/28750/12 or Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.