Police investigate ‘opportunistic’ theft from West Hampstead Post Office

The Sheriff Centre post office in West Hampstead

The Sheriff Centre post office in West Hampstead - Credit: Archant

The suspect apparently had nothing in which to stash the money and left a trail of cash as he left

Camden Police are investigating after an “opportunistic grab” from West Hampstead Post Office on Saturday afternoon.

Staff have described how a “distinctively dressed” tall man entered the post office in the Sherriff Centre in St James Church, Sherriff Road, at around 4pm on Saturday, according to Jane Edwards, the Sherriff Centre manager.

The suspect asked a post office worker behind the counter for change for a small pound note and waited for him to open the cash draw. The suspect then leaned over the low-rise perspex screen above the counter and grabbed what money he could from the open draw.

Ms Edwards was not on the scene but has been informed by staff and CCTV footage that the suspect had nothing in which to stash the money and left a trail of it as he made off. He raced from the scene on a bicycle he had left outside.

Ms Edwards said: “It seemed totally spontaneous because he had nothing with him to carry the money in. And he was distinctively dressed, wearing a camouflage jacket with ‘wanted’ written on the back.”

“We think it was an opportunistic grab. He can’t have thought about being so distinctively dressed or about being visible on our CCTV”.

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Ms Edwards said no one was hurt and all staff involved returned to work on Monday. The post office remained closed this morning so an audit could be carried out.

“Staff are all fine. We train them for things like this. Everyone reacted fantastically, very quickly, taking photos as he made off, and the police were called instantly.”

So far no arrests have been made. The post office is expected to reopen on Monday afternoon or on Tuesday morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Camden Police via 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.