County Durham racehorse trainer robbery on Crimewatch

Image caption, Howard Johnson was forced to open his safe at gunpoint

Durham Police hope a BBC Crimewatch appeal featuring an armed robbery at the home of a County Durham racehorse trainer will help their investigation.

Howard Johnson and his wife Sue were threatened with a knife and handgun during a raid at White Lea Farm, Roddymoor, near Crook, on 11 April.

Two masked robbers forced Mr Johnson to open his safe and hand over £100,000.

Mr Johnson has offered a £10,000 reward for details leading to their arrests but the pair remain at large.

Scottish notes

Police have launched an appeal for witnesses.

Det Insp Simon Orton said: "This was clearly a crime which had been planned in advance. Howard and Sue Johnson were subjected to a terrifying experience and left in real fear for their lives.

"Hopefully the Crimewatch appeal will jog memories, or encourage someone who hasn't yet come forward to do so," he added.

The robbers also took a number of mobile phones and a set of vehicle keys before fleeing the property, warning the couple they would return and shoot them if the police were contacted within three hours.

Much of the money taken was in £50 and £100 Scottish notes and police have asked anyone with information to contact them.

Crimewatch will be shown on BBC One at 2100 BST.

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