Robber foiled by corned beef tins and string

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Three men armed themselves with tins of corned beef and a ball of string to tackle a post office robber. But while the men tied him up with the string, passers-by helped themselves to 4,600 of the stolen money, a court was told yesterday.

John McKiernan, 53, William McSorley, 46, and Michael Deere, 45, saw James Cullen pull on a balaclava and go into a post office in Cumbernauld. They decided to ambush him on the way out, the High Court in Glasgow was told.

Cullen threatened staff with an imitation gun and, when tackled outside, he dropped his haul of 17,494. Cullen, 30, a greengrocer, of Greenrigg Road, Cumbernauld, admitted robbery and threatening staff and customers. He was jailed for four years.

Ian Donaldson, for the defence, said Cullen had money problems.