Raiders hit Islington Budgens store twice in 28 hours
- Credit: Archant
Terrified staff are refusing to work evening shifts at an Islington supermarket blighted by smash and grab raids.
Budgens, in Packington Square, was robbed at its 11pm closing time on Sunday evening after a hooded man armed with a knife ambushed two staff leaving at the back door.
The store lost £1,000 as he stole three tills, a change box and bottles of alcohol.
And just 28 hours later, early on Tuesday morning, another gang unsuccessfully tried to smash their way through the front door.
Owner Prateek Shukla said: “It’s been a nightmare. We are getting one incident a week: raids, threatening behaviour to staff and shoplifting.
You may also want to watch:
“Staff have left because they don’t feel secure. Some are refusing to work evening shifts because that is when the shop is most vulnerable.
“Our insurance has almost trebled because of these incidents. Our excess on theft is £5,000.We lost £1,000 on Sunday, so we don’t get to claim that back. It’s all adding up to the cost of doing business, and we can’t afford it.”
- 1 'Massive stabbing' in Old Street forces Moorfields Eye Hospital to close
- 2 London Assembly election 2021: Meet the north east candidates
- 3 Anti-LTN independent candidates deny creating new political party
- 4 Islington's by-election candidates confirmed
- 5 Islington reports lowest coronavirus infection rate in London
- 6 Man, 70, charged with murder of Imani Allaway-Muir
- 7 Police appeal after moped rider left seriously injured in crash
- 8 Islington election hopeful faces trial on intimidation, cocaine and ABH charges
- 9 What's opening in Islington when Covid lockdown rules ease on May 17?
- 10 Landlord of Tollington Arms - popular with Arsenal fans - faces eviction
As previously reported in the Gazette, the shop suffered three raids after opening in 2014, as well as one 12 months ago.
Mr Shukla said: “We believe all these guys are local. They know their way around the streets. Police interupted another attempted raid last month and they instantly scattered off in different directions. They knew where they were going and they are targeting our store because it’s a quiet residential area.”
On Sunday, one staff member was able to flee and call the police, while another locked himself in the bathroom.
Mr Shukla said: “[The raider] was so brazen, it was as if he was casually shopping. These guys are getting bolder and bolder. Someone could have ended up getting really hurt.”
He also rounded on police: “We give them details and all we get is a crime reference number. There has been a lack of action against these people. Maybe we are low priority for them.”
But Ch Insp Kier Kier Newman responded: “Islington Police take every allegation of crime seriously. There are a number of shops and businesses that do unfortunately become repeat victims of crime, such as this Budgens store.
“We work hard to try to identify suspects, for example using private and public CCTV, seeking out forensic opportunities and taking statements from eye-witnesses, and at present the investigations into these incidents are ongoing.
“The incidents at Budgens being less than two days apart is obviously particularly distressing for the owners.
“We have met the manager and staff at Budgens, and have increased patrols in the area. We will continue to work with Budgens to support them.”
He added: “The crimes are not believed to be linked as the suspects, time of offence and method used are very different.”