Mystery surrounds the details of an apparent theft of thousands of pounds by three men who walked into an estate agency office in Essex on Friday afternoon.
A Facebook message left over the weekend by Griffin Estate Agents at Grays says: “As some of you will be already aware, yesterday, Friday February 8, Griffin contacted the police as three gentlemen entered the office and committed an offence which is being dealt with by Essex Police.
“May we reiterate that no weapons were used. No one was seriously hurt … apart from our pride. No keys were stolen.
“Please ignore any rumour you have have seen on social media. This does not help the situation for anyone, especially our staff who were all brilliant yesterday.”
There is no clue as to the rumours circulating on social media but Ashley Froment, general manager and trustee of Griffin Foundation Trust, told Estate Agent Today over the weekend: “Nothing further to add apart from we are saddened that people are fabricating the facts.”
The local newspaper, the Thurrock Gazette, claims that the three entered the branch at 12.55pm on Friday, apparently enquiring about properties: one spoke to a staff member while the other two approached another member of the agency team, who was reported to have been knocked over as the three men fled the office with cash.
The newspaper says one of the three also attempted, unsuccessfully, to steal a mobile telephone from a desk.
However, an anonymous comment left beneath the online version of the newspaper story says: “This is not factually correct.”
The police would like to speak to anyone who saw the incident or who saw men acting suspiciously in or near the branch office at Orsett Road at the time of the crime.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Grays local policing team on 101, quoting the reference 42/21007/19.