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Saturday, 2 July 2016

Motorcycle gang raids 3 late-night shops

Police unable to stop armed raids on shops

Report and photographs: Paul Janik

Police are hunting a motorcycle gang raiding late-night convenience shops (mini-supermarkets).

The gang, of at least 2 men on one or more motorbikes, robbed the Co-Op shop in Elmshott Lane, Cippenham, opposite the local primary school.

This raid happened on Monday evening, 27 June at 21:45 just before the shop closed at 22:00.

Two men with knives threatened staff, then one used a screw-driver, or something similar, to force open a cashier's till and then stole cash.

The raid, some say the first at this branch of the Co-Op in 10 years, was swift and over in less then 3 minutes.

Unhappy with the stolen cash, the gang headed north to Burnham High Street, on the other side of the main London to Bristol railway line.

On the corner with Jennery Lane, is a Tesco Express convenience shop open to 23:00.

Loitering outside the shop for about 10 minutes, the gang then entered Tesco at 22:20 and quickly seized cash from an unattended cashier's till before escaping.

The Slough Times wonders what happened to the armed raiders between 21:48 hours and their appearance outside Tesco Express at circa 22:10. That gap is 22 minutes yet the motorcycle travelling time between the Cippenham Co-op and Burnham High Street's Tesco is just 7 minutes. What did the gang do for 15 minutes between the raids ?

This Tesco shop was last raided 5 weeks ago on Tuesday 17 May 2016. (police press release 334235).

Police comment

Detective inspector Nicky Hurdley stated:

Fortunately there were no injuries caused during the incidents, but this was clearly a very frightening experience for the staff involved and we are keen to locate and arrest the individuals involved at the earliest opportunity.

Detectives from Burnham and Slough are working together to identify the perpetrators and are appealing for witnesses to both incidents and sightings of the motorcycle, as well as any identification of the offenders.

The inspector's appeal for public help puzzled residents and businesses because Thames Valley Police refuse to say anything about the motorcycle or motorcycles used in the raids. A source told the Slough Times there was at least one off-road (dirt track scrambler) motorbike.

Like many people the Slough Times wonders how Mrs Hurdley expects the public to spot a completely anonymous off-road motorbike, when police are refusing to give its colour, approximate engine size or other distinguishing features.

Unhelpful police attitudes cause journalists from all-over the Thames Valley to complain among themselves TVP is the worse police force they have ever dealt with.

Tesco Express, The Broadway shopping parade, Beaconsfield Road, Farnham Common

Three days after the Burnham and Cippenham raids, Thursday 30 June 2016, Tesco Express convenience shop in Farnham Common was robbed by two motorcyclists before it closed at 23:00.

This police investigation is headed by a lucid detective sergeant, Tracey Benham from Aylesbury Police Station, who - unlike her unimpressive and disappointing Berkshire colleagues - released these informative details:

  • At approximately 22:15, two men entered Tesco Express.
  • One, armed with a claw hammer, threatened staff.
  • The two men then took cash from a till and then left the shop.
  • No one was injured during the robbery.
  • The first offender was white, circa 5 feet 2 inches (1m58) tall, and wore a black jacket, grey trousers and a motorbike helmet.
  • The second offender was circa 5 feet 10 inches (1m78) tall, medium build, and wore dark clothing and a motorbike helmet.

Mrs Benham added:

We are aware of similar robberies at the Co-op, Elmshott Lane, Cippenham and Tesco Express, Burnham High Street, and we are not excluding the possibility that these 3 raids are linked.

The Slough Times wonders what type of accents the two men used.

This Tesco shop was previously raided on Sunday 14 February 2016. (police press release 328863).

The shop's external sign was unlit when the last raid occurred (link) and is still unlit today. Tesco can not afford new light bulbs ?

Police claim crime is declining but betting shops, village stores and late-night convenience shops are very regularly raided.