Police in Norfolk are being asked to help in the hunt for a man who was jailed for his part in a terrifying armed robbery at a bakery in Long Stratton after he absconded from prison.

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Michael Roode was the ringleader of a robbery in April 2006 during which a worker at Mr Bunn the Baker was threatened with a sawn-off shot gun and an axe and forced to hand over £500. As well as money from the till, a baker was made to draw money out of his account using a cash machine and was hit on the side of the head with a gun.

Roode and another robber then forced the baker to drive them to Norwich after their getaway driver ran out of petrol. Roode, from Norwich, but of no fixed address, was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court in August 2007 to an indeterminate prison sentence for robbery offences and possession of a fireman with intent to cause fear of violence.

But the 32-year-old failed to return to Derbyshire-based HMP Sudbury overnight on April 29 to 30.

His disappearance has sparked a police search, with forces across the country being asked to assist in the hunt for Roode, who was also involved in another robbery, two days after the bakery raid, at the Old Thorn Barn Bed and Breakfast at Hethel.

He also admitted his role in a robbery at the Lavender House restaurant in Brundall and in more than 100 burglaries.

A spokesman for Derbyshire police said details of the absconder had been sent to all police forces in a bid to help with the search.

A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We would assist other forces and work with them where necessary and appropriate to help locate and arrest criminals who have absconded from other parts of the country.”

Anyone with information about Roode should call police on 101.

peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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