Page last updated at 15:34 GMT, Thursday, 29 April 2010 16:34 UK

New leads for Lancashire police after TV robbery appeal

Stephen Devalda
Police believe it is "a matter of time" before they find Stephen Devalda

"Significant" new leads have emerged in the hunt for a suspected mail van robber after a BBC Crimewatch appeal.

Stephen Devalda, 27, is wanted over the violent robbery of a Royal Mail van in Colne in May 2005.

Lancashire Police said they received two calls during last night's programme, allowing them to "progress".

Mr Devalda, from Salford, was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery in 2006, but failed to attend court and has not been seen by police since.

We will get the satisfaction of somebody serving a sentence
Det Insp Simon Cheyte

During the robbery two men on a motorcycle - armed with a handgun, machete and baseball bat - attacked a Royal Mail worker before escaping with a substantial amount of cash.

Det Insp Simon Cheyte said: "The appeal prompted just a couple of calls, but they contained some significant information from people who know Devalda and his family.

"We've been able to look at that information and progress our search.

Ran from dock

"A lot of police time and effort went into bringing this matter to trial and we are determined that after all that work we will get the satisfaction of somebody serving a sentence."

Mr Devalda is 5ft 9ins tall with a slim build, short dark brown hair and brown eyes.

"We know he regularly travels to Spain and still has strong ties to the Salford area, and we firmly believe it will only be a matter of time before we find him," said Det Insp Cheyte.

Co-accused, Andrew Moran, 25, from Salford was convicted at Burnley Crown Court for his involvement in the raid, but he ran from the dock before sentencing in March 2009.

He is still missing and an appeal for him was shown on Crimewatch in March.



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