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Monday, 15 February 2016

Knife gang snatch cash, booze and fags
from Tesco, Farnham Common

Shocked staff unhurt. Police investigators come 26 miles from Aylesbury

Report and photographs: Paul Janik

On Sunday night a masked gang raided Tesco's in Farnham Common stealing thousands of pounds, cigarettes and alcohol.

The raid happened on a dark and cold Sunday evening, 14 February 2016, circa 20:30.

Three masked men entered the Tesco convenience shop in Farnham Common's Broadway.

Tesco is at the Slough, southern, end of the Broadway, Farnham Common's de facto mini High Street. Farnham Common is circa 4 miles north of Slough on the A355 road to Beaconsfield and the M40 motorway, junction 2.

In a carefully rehearsed robbery, the first masked man stood by the main door, keeping it open for their escape. Meanwhile the second, knife waving, masked man jumped over the counter, threaten frighten staff with a large carving knife and demand they open the tills. The third masked man ordered astonished customers away from the check-outs and then helped empty the cash drawers into the robber's bag.

In a fatal error, the robbers also seized bottles of alcohol and packets of cigarettes before running away, southwards towards Victoria Road.

It is thought a fourth person, a get-away driver, was waiting in the dark in Kingsway and headed towards the unlit roads of Burnham Beeches because the main roads would be full of police vehicles.

One of the robbers was white (IC1) and wearing dark tracksuit bottoms and a dark hooded top with red on the chest area.

Detective Sergeant Tracey Benham based at Aylesbury, about 22 miles away from Farnham Common, said:

This robbery took place while customers were in the store and we are very keen to speak to them and anyone else who may have information about this incident.

This was a very frightening experience for both them and the two members of staff who were in the store. Fortunately, no-one was injured.

I'd like to reassure everyone that we are investigating this fully and would ask anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact us via the Thames Valley Police Enquiry Centre on 101 or anonymously on 0800-555 111 with no personal details taken and your call is not recorded.

When the Slough Times visited the shop this evening, the Tesco sign was switched off. It gave an appearance of a shop trying to hid away in the dark and not be noticed. It did not help that Buckinghamshire County Council had failed to repair the non-working street lights at the Broadway's southern end. No doubt the robbers were glad they could quickly disappear into the gloom and darkness.

Tesco comment Tuesday 16 February

A Tesco press office spokesman told the Slough Times:

We're assisting the police with their inquiry and are sorry for any inconvenience caused to customers while the store was closed.

The robbery took place on Sunday evening. The store reopened at 12pm yesterday, Monday 15th.

We're aware the logo lights aren't working at the moment and will be fixing them shortly.