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23 March 2010, 13:40
Two men have been remanded in Custody charged with robbery and firearms offences after school children in Findon had to be barricaded in their classrooms on Monday.
Firearms officers were deployed to search the grounds of The Vale First and Middle School in Findon Valley on Monday morning.
The school was placed on "immediate lockdown'' with no pupil or member of staff allowed to leave classrooms while officers scoured the site.
Earlier, the crew of a Group 4 Securicor van at a Tesco store in Chichester had £17,000 stolen from them after being held up at gunpoint.
Officers entered the school in search of suspects and arrested one as he was walking out of the front gate, and the other in the school grounds.
Dominic Mendy, 30, and Danny Palmer, 31, both of no fixed address, were charged with robbery of £17,000, possession of a banned weapon while committing that offence and possession of a weapon with a barrel less than 60cm long.
They were both remanded in custody by Chichester magistrates to appear at Chichester Crown Court for a plea and case management hearing on June 17, Sussex Police said.
In a letter to parents, headteacher Tony Lovatt said that no child was harmed and no weapons were brought into the school.
He wrote: "The staff reacted promptly and the police have praised the school for their quick thinking and the security measures which are in place.''
The cash has been recovered and it emerged that two handguns seized had been decommissioned.