A HAMMER-weilding thug smashed a security guard's hand before snatching his cashbox inside a tube station.
The victim was about to re-stock the ATM at Northfields station in Northfield Road when the attack happened.
Seconds later the robber and his accomplice escaped in a getaway car parked outside at about 9.30am on Tuesday (15).
The owner of the station shop, who asked not to be named, said: “I heard shouting and then a man ran left out of the station chased by about three staff. I only saw him for a split second so didn't see what he looked like but I heard the staff say they had got the licence plate of the car.”
Police arrived shortly after and found the car and empty cash box abandoned in Airedale Road, near South Ealing tube station.
James Guest, committee member of the Ealing Fields Residents Association, said the brazen daylight robbery raises troubling questions about the effectiveness of CCTV to deter to criminals.
He said: “I counted 11 cameras in the booking hall and four in the forecourt and the station was well-staffed at the time. It suggests CCTV is not a deterrent or a protection. I don't have a problem with CCTV but it can't compensate with the physical presence of police and support officers.
“It is the second time a cash delivery to a cash machine in Northfield Avenue has been targeted recently, the last time was in mid-January, outside Tesco. ATMs are a magnet for crime.”
The security guard was taken to hospital for treatment.
G4S which who manage the security guards said they were working with the police, politicians and others to develop initiatives to help curb the crime. The incident is being investigated by British Transport Police.
Anyone with information is asked to call them on 0800 40 50 50 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.