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Tuesday, 11 December 2018
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Monday 9 November 2015
Exclusive


Armed raiders hit Gala Bingo twice in one week

Increase security fails to prevent second raid
Club closing early as frightened bingo players stay away
Manhunt for gunman and accomplices

Report and photographs: Paul Janik

Armed gunmen raided Gala Bingo, in the former Adelphi cinema, Bath Road and stole an unspecified amount of cash.

The raid was on Guy Fawkes Night evening, Thursday, 5 November 2015.

More details to follow.

Iceland

This evening several staff in a large Slough supermarket expressed their concerns about an alleged armed raid that was said to have happened at 15:00 today, Monday, at the Iceland supermarket in nearby Farnburn Avenue, just a 3 minute walk away.

It was claimed thugs wearing masks and holding hand guns hit the store manager on his head and stole a substantial sum of money.

Lidl

In a seperate incident, at circa 22:00 this evening, two men of South Asian appearance approached the main entrance to Lidl, Farnham Road. One repeatedly told Lidl's security guard:

My friend has got a big knife

The man then gestured with his hands indicating his friend's knife was between 30 cm and 40 cm long (12 to 16 inches). While details were being passed to the police, both men drove-off in the same car - the alleged knife possessor in the driving seat and the man making the knife claims in a back seat. The vehicle's numberplate was given to the police. Thames Valley Police reference URN 1599 of 9 November 2015 refers.

Update : Tuesday 10 November

Iceland

All attempts by the Slough Times to corroborate claims of the Iceland armed raid failed. Speaking to employees at both Iceland stores in Slough, Queensmere and Farnburn Avenue, produced robust denials of any type of raid.

Gala Bingo

Sources told the Slough Times that:

  • The first armed raid is said to have occurred about 19:30 on Thursday 5 November.
  • The armed thieves stole cash said to exceed £50,000.
  • Neither customers nor staff were apparently injured.
  • Extra security guards, all unarmed, were then stationed in the former Adelphi cinema premises on Slough's busy Bath Road.
  • A second raid is said to have happened about 03:00 on Sunday morning, 8 November, under the cover of darkness.
  • On Sunday the robbers escaped with all the Bingo club's alcohol but, claim sources, with no cash.

Nearly a week after the armed raid at Gala Bingo and with no public appeals for information about the serious crime, the Slough Times has asked Thames Valley Police about their news black-out.

Wednesday 11 November

Claims from Gala Bingo sources, unconfirmed by police, that 3 gunmen burst-in to the bingo club at the busiest possible time, 19:30 last Thursday, were identified by CCTV cameras and subsequently arrested. Police are still hunting for the Sunday morning raiders.

A source told the Slough Times:

  • Bingo customers are staying away.
  • Gala Bingo is now like a ghost town.
  • There is almost no one here.
  • Having 24 hours a day security is not reassuring regular customers.
  • People are very afraid.
  • People think the armed raiders will strike again.

The popular and sometimes packed-out bingo club, normally opened to midnight, is now closing many hours earlier because it has few, if any, paying customers.

Gala Bingo statement

08:42 hours, Wednesday 11 November

We can confirm there was an armed robbery last Thursday at approximately 7.45 [19:45 hours] at our Gala Bingo club in Slough and a small amount of money was taken. No one was injured, and no customers were either involved or were present. We are helping the police with their investigation. The matter was reported to police instantly.

We can also confirm that at 03:55 on Saturday, the club had an overnight break-in whilst unoccupied. Intruder systems activated immediately and the police were alerted automatically by our Alarm Receiving Centre. With no other loss, the offenders took a few bottles of alcohol with them on their rapid exit from the premises at 04:06.

It would not be appropriate to comment further, as both events are currently actively being investigated by Police.

Thames Valley Police statement

10:43 hours, Wednesday 11 November

Appeal for witnesses following armed robbery – Slough

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following an armed robbery at the Gala club, Bath Road in Slough.

At about 7.45pm on Thursday (5/11), two men entered the premises, one armed with a firearm, the other with a knife.

They made threats to the staff, and then took cash from the register.

The men then made off in a blue car being driven by a third person.

The first man is black, of athletic build, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft, with a tattoo on his left cheek. He was wearing a balaclava.

The second man is about 5ft4ins to- 5ft6ins and of average build. He was also wearing a balaclava.

Investigating Officer, Det Con Mohammed Rashid, of Force CID based at Maidenhead, said:

“We would reassure the public that we are doing everything in our power to trace these men.

We would ask anyone who has seen men going into the Gala club at around 7.45pm last Thursday evening, or two men making their way out and getting into a blue car which was waiting outside to come forward.

I would ask anyone to call us Thames Valley Police on 101 or give information confidentially in secret to Crime Stoppers on 0800-555 111.

Thank you for your help. It is appreciated.”