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Delivery van hijacked in country lane

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A DELIVERY van was hijacked while it was parked in a country lane and abandoned 15 miles away. Police said the van, belonging to Comet stores, was taken in Blue Bell Hill, near Chatham, at 7.40am yesterday and left in a lay-by near Sheerness.

A police spokesman said the incident was being treated as a robbery but declined to comment further. The incident began while the van was parked at the junction of the A229 and Old Chatham Road.

Police and Comet won't say what happened next but it is understood a robber overpowered the driver, who remained in the van while the vehicle was driven away.

Dave Tugwell, store manager at Comet in Maidstone Road, Rochester, said he had heard the vehicle had been hijacked.

"I've heard a rumour that a Comet van was hijacked but I've had no confirmation from police. We had a delivery, as usual, this morning but it wasn't until after 9am."

A Comet spokesman said the company would not comment further until the police investigation had been completed.

The robber is thought to have driven the van to a lay-by in Brielle Way, near Sheerness, where it was found abandoned at 10.30am.

Swale police were alerted to the incident at 10.30am and officers sealed off the area.

Details of what happened and if any items were taken were not being revealed this morning. Nobody has been arrested.

A police spokesman said: "We can confirm the van was stolen in Blue Bell Hill, but are not able to give full details."

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