Handgun pointed at worker as raiders hit new St John’s Wood store

A St John’s Wood newsagent was held up at gunpoint as robbers threatened staff before raiding the till.

Two men pointed a handgun at a shop assistant after entering Whisson News & Food in Allitsen Road at 12.30am. They then stole �400 from the till during the raid on Wednesday last week.

It is believed the two suspects, who were both white, were accompanied by one or two black men who waited outside. The gang then headed off along Eamont Street towards Prince Albert Road.

The 24-hour convenience store had only been open for two weeks before the raid and had not yet installed CCTV, revealed shop manager Masood Ul Haq.

“People think they can take advantage of us because we are a new shop,” he said. “But we need to encourage new businesses.

“Luckily no-one was hurt. The guys just took the money and ran. But it’s scary when someone shows you something that looks like a gun.

“The police have done very well, coming in and looking through everything to try to find the guys.

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“The community is great. Ninety-five per cent of people are no problem but there are just a few who are.”

The shop will continue to open 24 hours a day and is having CCTV installed this week. “We are not going to change just for a few kids,” added the shop manager.

Abbey Road councillor Lindsey Hall described the incident as an “appalling development”.

“It is totally out of character for our neighbourhood and, thankfully, I think it will remain out of character,” she said.

“We will be doing everything in our power to try to help the police locate the culprits. What it does do is reinforces the absolute importance of CCTV for our retailers to have that back-up if anything goes wrong.”

No arrests have been made and enquiries are ongoing.

n Anyone with information can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.