Armed bank robbers escape

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Two armed raiders escaped with more than pounds 100,000 yesterday after robbing security guards delivering money to cashpoint machines in the West End of London.

Thousands of Christmas shoppers were evacuated from the Bond Street area of Oxford Street as armed police searched for the men, both in their late twenties, who were seen entering the unstaffed National Westminster Bank at midday.

The street was sealed off for nearly two hours as a dozen police vehicles ringed the building and armed units searched the roof and rooms. Five men were later led away from the bank - it is understood that they were found locked in a vault.