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Police investigating two attacks on Friday which left one man dead, are today appealing for information about a van they believe was involved

August 15, 2012, 4:10 pm

Police investigating two attacks on Friday which left one man dead, are today appealing for information about a van they believe was involved.

Officers found the white Vauxhall Combo van just before 10.40am on Friday 10 August 2012. It had been abandoned at the end of Luke Road at the entrance to Lees Park, the same time that a house on the street had been attacked with a grenade.

Police have today issued photos of the inside of the van, which clearly show damage caused by a third grenade explosion.

The van registration is ML58 VXP, and the vehicle had been hired legitimately from Salford Van Hire on Thursday 9 August 2012 at around 4.40pm.

Detectives investigating this case have a number of sightings of the van after it was hired, and are appealing to the public to let them know if they saw the vehicle between 4.40pm on Thursday up to the time it was found on Friday morning.

The van is seen going into the car park at the Nelson Tavern pub (at the junction of Lord Lane and Hulmes Road) at 5.32pm on Thursday evening, before leaving again only four minutes later at 5.36pm.

The van is then seen on CCTV the next morning at 8.35am, driving down Chappell Road towards the Fiveways roundabout at Droylsden.

It can then be seen again at 10.21am driving along Lewis Road and then North Road, just round the corner from where the first attack happened on Folkestone Road East.

Shortly after 10.30am, the white van can be seen driving back down Manor Road and along Chappell Road, before it was found abandoned on Luke Road.

Assistant Chief Constable Steve Heywood, said: “An intensive police operation has been ongoing since the moment these attacks happened on Friday and will continue for a long time to come.

“We have made significant developments in this investigation to identify those who were involved in these attacks and the murder of David Short.

“Today we are appealing to the public to help us trace the movements of a white Vauxhall van, which we believe was involved in both incidents on Friday before it was abandoned. We believe the offenders also tried to cover their tracks by setting off a grenade inside the vehicle before they left it.

“Did you see this van and its occupants pull into the Nelson Tavern car park on Thursday evening, or do you know where it was parked up overnight? Did you see it on Friday morning driving between Droylsden and Clayton and did you see who was driving it? Please get in touch with us if you have any information – you may think what you saw is only trivial but it could be important to our investigation.

We do not believe that the two attacks last Friday were random, but understandably, people in the area are still hugely concerned by what they may have seen and heard.

“Armed officers are continuing to patrol in the Clayton and Droylsden areas, and while I appreciate that people may think the appearance of these officers looks quite daunting, I hope that they can also feel reassured by their presence.

We have arrested three people so far in connection with Fridays attacks and we are continuing to look for two other men – 29-year-old Dale Cregan and 33-year-old Anthony Wilkinson – who we still want to speak to. We are urging any members of the public that have seen either of these men since Friday morning, or who know where they are now, to contact us immediately. Please do not try and approach them, but call the police on 999.

A 28-year-old man who was arrested yesterday in Droylsden on suspicion of murder remains in police custody for questioning.

Two men, aged 37 and 25, who were arrested over the weekend on suspicion of murder have both been bailed pending further inquiries.

Dale Cregan is also wanted in connection with the murder of Mark Short, Davids son, at the Cotton Tree Pub on 25 May 2012.

At 10.30am on Friday 10 August 2012, the body of 46-year-old David Short was found at a house on Folkestone Road East in Clayton after police were called there following reports of gunshots. There had also been an explosion at the address, which was caused by a grenade.

Less than ten minutes later, shots were fired and there was another grenade explosion outside a house on Luke Road in Droylsden. No-one was injured during this incident.

Anyone with information in relation to this investigation is asked to call police at the Major Incident Team on 0161 856 3301 or 101, or call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Contact Crimestoppers anonymously with information about crime

101 – The police non-emergency number

101 is the number to call when you want to contact your local police in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland – when it’s less urgent than a 999 call.
Find out more information about 101 by following this link.

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