Police warn members of the public to ‘remain viglant’ as they hunt suspect who was believed to be armed.

Members of the public are being urged to ‘remain vigilant’ as police hunt a suspected armed robber in Barnstaple.

A person suspected to be carrying a firearm is the suspect of a manhunt by police after the incident at Coopers Jewellery in Barnstaple High Street yesterday (Thursday).

Police responded at around 3.35pm after an alarm went off at the jewellers, and the person made off in the direction of Green Lanes.

Parts of the area were cordoned off while a dog unit, firearms officers and local officers search the area.

Detective Inspector Praveen Naidoo, senior investigating officer, said: “This was a particularly distressing incident for those involved.

“With the possible exception of the offender, no one was injured.

“Our initial enquiries indicate that the shots fired at the jewellers are likely to have been blanks.

“The incident happened in a busy part of town and we are appealing to the public for witnesses.

“We are particularly keen to speak to anyone who may have seen the man entering or leaving the town centre area or anyone with information as to his identity.

“We believe he may have entered the town centre area from the direction of King Edward Street and Coronation Street on Thursday afternoon.”

Det Insp Naidoo said the suspect was described as being a white, between 5ft 2ins in and 5 ft 7 ins in height wearing a sandy or khaki coloured trench coat, He was wearing a latex type full head mask which gave the perception of him being bald.

DI Naidoo added: “He most likely left the scene with injuries to his right hand and head.

“Whilst there is not believed to be an immediate risk to the public we would ask the public to be vigilant and contact police if they have any information as to the identity of the offender”

Police are asking anyone who finds any items of clothing, a mask, or a gun disguarded in Barnstaple or the surrounding area to not touch the item and call them on 101.

Anyone who either witnessed the incident, saw the suspect in the area beforehand or making off, is asked to contact police on 101, quoting police reference 0491 280515 or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.