WGC teens plan to ransack Howard Centre in raid

PUBLISHED: 18:00 09 November 2019 | UPDATED: 19:09 09 November 2019

Young people had planned a raid on the Howard Centre via Snapchat, according to social media and shop staff. Picture: Supplied

Young people had planned a raid on the Howard Centre via Snapchat, according to social media and shop staff. Picture: Supplied

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A pre-planned raid by teenagers in The Howard Centre has been attempted this afternoon.

Police presence at the Howard Centre this afternoon. Picture: Selina Dunning-SkeggsPolice presence at the Howard Centre this afternoon. Picture: Selina Dunning-Skeggs

A pre-planned raid by teenagers in The Howard Centre has been attempted this afternoon.

The youths set upon entering JD Sports at around 4pm today (Saturday, November 9).

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The event was planned and advertised via Snapchat, according to one Welwyn Garden City resident who does not want to be named. The message told young people to arrive with gloves and bags, to meet at McDonald's at 5pm and said they would be "expected to leave the shop within 25-35 seconds with good quality clothes".

A member of staff at JD Sports, who did not want to be named, said: "There were loads of young people outside, dressed in the way that the social media advert had told them to. All in black with hats and gloves on. We closed the shop and police were outside the whole time. So the attempt by the teenagers failed."

Sales assistant, Helen, at WH Smith in The Howard Centre, who did not want to give her last name, said: "Some kids came in being a nuisance. I asked them to leave but they threw around big balls of Blu Tack and started giving us lip in front of other customers.

"They threw the balls around and sent the books flying. There has been talk on social media of a planned raid on JD Sports but I don't know if they were part of that."

A spokesperson for Herts police said: "Police were in attendance at The Howard Centre this afternoon as part of proactive patrols having received information of the potential of a number of youths attending stores with the intent of stealing items."

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