Worker’s attempts to trap gang in shop raid

IPSWICH: A shop worker has today told of his brave attempts to catch a gang of youths, locking them inside the store as he waited for police officers to arrive.

The hooded gang struck at Shali Stores, opposite the Plough pub in Dogs Head Street at about 5.50pm yesterday.

Kak Omer, who was working behind the counter on his own at the time, said about five young men entered the shop.

He said a couple of them asked for cigarettes and when he refused to serve them because they looked underage, they tried to attack him.

“They tried to fight me,” he said. “The others were stuffing things inside their bags. They were all wearing hoods up over their faces.

“I ran to lock them in the shop until police could get here.”

The 26-year-old added: “They kept trying to attack me as two others outside kicked the window in to let them out. It was frightening, there were more of them than me. I was on my own.”

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In a bid to get out of the locked shop, a pane of glass was smashed in the door, allowing the gang to unlock the door and flee the scene. Speaking after the raid as the clear-up began, shop owner Bazid Shali said: “You see young people doing these things, but what can the police do. The damage is already done.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police said officers were called to reports of criminal damage in the area yesterday evening. They are still investigating the incident and are calling for any witnesses to come forward.

Officers arrested five men on suspicion of criminal damage. They were taken to Ipswich police station and were being questioned as the Star went to print. If you have any information, call police on 01473 613500.

n Have you been the victim of crime? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail