Moped gang threaten cashiers at supermarkets in Belsize Park and Kilburn
Two attacks on shop staff within 15 minutes
05 December, 2017 — By William McLennan
MOPED raiders armed with a large knife targeted two Camden supermarkets last night, threatening staff and demanding they empty the tills in a 15-minute crime spree.
In the first attack at around 9:20pm, a suspect jumped over the counter at a Tesco store in England’s Lane, Belsize Park, and waved the knife at staff before making off on the back of a moped with handfuls of cash.
Around 15 minutes later it is believed the same men repeated the crime at a store in Kilburn High Road, again threatening staff until they opened the tills.
One customer at the England’s Lane Tesco, who asked not to be named, said: “I was at the till and my items had just been bagged up when this guy in a grey tracksuit and hoody and dark mask jumped over the till and took out a kitchen knife, it was about 20cm.
“He was swinging it at the cashier and telling them to open the till. The cashiers tried to confine him to the area behind the counter. One cashier threw a plastic crate at the guy, but he kept on swinging the knife at them, threatening to stab them.”
She said that most customers were able to flee the shop while the robbery was still in process, adding: “Everyone calmly exited. It was a very British situation.”
Detectives believe the two robberies are linked. No arrests have been made.
Concerns have previously been raised about the increasingly violent attacks that in recent weeks have seen hammer-wielding moped robbers target customers in cafés and bars.
Labour Assembly Member Andrew Dismore told police chiefs at City Hall last month: “The concern I have is we have now seen this new trend of business premises, shops, cafés, being besieged, broken into and stormed by moped-enabled villains.
“It seems to me that the moped thieves are becoming more inventive, more aggressive, more brazen, more violent and consequently as this constituent indicates, more frightening.”