Trader talks of armed robbery terror

A MANAGER of a shop next door to a supermarket targeted by masked gunmen has told of the “terrifying” ordeal.

Pri Gamage, of the Co-op store in Station Road, Cuffley, told the WHT how the Valentine’s Day armed robbery at Tesco Express meant shop workers in the area felt helpless to thugs.

He said: “It is a threat to us.

“We have CCTV but these people come in with masks and hoodies armed with guns, they don’t really care and so you [employees] are helpless.

“It’s terrifying.”

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During the raid, in which around �5,000 was stolen, four staff members were tied up and one “pistol whipped” just after 6am on Sunday (February 14).

Mr Gamage, 38, said security in his store was stepped up after a burglary two weeks ago.

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“They stole around �300 in products, half the meat section, medicines and expensive household products in one minute.

“They were that fast,” he said.

“Now we make sure we always have two members of staff in the shop, always make sure we check around the area outside to see if we can see anything or anyone suspicious, and we make sure all the cash is emptied from the tills the night before.”

He added: “The money can be recovered but what about the victims’ lives? These thugs have to be caught.”

Detective sergeant Paul Rogers is investigating the Tesco raid.

He said: “I would appeal to anyone who has any information about what happened to contact police.

“If you saw anyone acting suspiciously prior to the incident, or saw anyone leaving the scene, we would like to hear from you.

“We have a team of officers working on the investigation to trace those responsible but your call could prove vital.”

The first suspect is described as mixed race, of medium build and wearing a black woolly hat and gloves. The second is described as black, of broad build and wearing gloves and blue overalls.

Witnesses should call police on 0845 33 00 222.

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