Two men remanded over robbery and kidnap at Hopwood Services

TWO Birmingham men have appeared in court charged with robbing and kidnapping the driver of a cash in transit lorry at Hopwood Service Station on the M5, near Redditch.

Leon Bell, aged 37, of Greenvale Avenue, Sheldon, and John Gerard Wall, aged 49, of Bromford Court, Bromford Lane, Washwood Heath, were arrested shortly after the incident which happened during the afternoon on Thursday, August 15.

They were charged on Saturday, August 17, and brought before Worcester Magistrates Court on Monday, August 19.

No application for bail was made on behalf of Bell but one for Wall was rejected and both were remanded in custody to appear before Worcester Crown Court on Monday, November 25.

The driver of the lorry, who had been bundled into the back of another vehicle, was uninjured during the incident.

Police are still appealing for witnesses and information as they continue to investigate the kidnap and robbery which happened at about 1.15pm.

In particular detectives want to speak to two witnesses, believed to be a man and a woman, who were approached for directions by the occupants of the black Audi estate as it made its way to Alvechurch.

Superintendent Kevin Purcell said: “It is known that the black Audi estate stopped at least twice to ask for directions and at least one man and one woman were asked for directions.

“We would ask that these individuals come forward and speak to us as soon as is possible because information they have may be absolutely vital.

“I would also like to say that we remain keen to speak to anyone who may have seen any of the vehicles involved in this incident at any time between midday and 2.15pm on Thursday.

“Tracing the movements of these vehicles is very important to us and therefore I’d ask anyone who may have seen them – or their occupants – to make contact with us as soon as they can."

Anyone with information should call West Mercia Police on the non-emergency number 101, quoting incident reference 299-S-150813. Details may also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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