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Thieves strike Hornsey store again

PUBLISHED: 14:35 17 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:07 07 September 2010

Charlotte Newton A SHOP manager has spoken of his anger after hooded men raided his store on Easter Sunday – the fifth incident in recent weeks. The 45-year-old man, who did not want to be identified, says he has been forced to close the Somerfield superm

Charlotte Newton

A SHOP manager has spoken of his anger after hooded men raided his store on Easter Sunday - the fifth incident in recent weeks.

The 45-year-old man, who did not want to be identified, says he has been forced to close the Somerfield supermarket in Tottenham Lane, Hornsey, at midnight because menacing gangs of young men have repeatedly targeted the store.

In the latest incident last Sunday, the gang of six hooded men entered the shop at 11.30pm, filled four shopping baskets with £200 worth of alcohol and fled without paying.

The manager said: "They were wearing big jackets and had their hoods right over their faces.

"They had the cheek to fill up four baskets with alcohol and just walk out without paying for it.

"When six people come in it's intimidating for my staff. But it's quite a common thing and has happened repeatedly in the past few months with thieves taking hundreds of pounds worth of stock each time.

"A couple of weeks ago there was a spate of incidents between 2am and 3am so now we're closed from midnight.

"But the problem is where do you draw the line? If you close at 10pm they will come in at 9pm.

"I'd like a police presence with patrol cars. I don't know what they [the police] do in the area at the moment but I would like them to be here at night."

The six suspects in Sunday's raid are described as four black males and two white males aged 18 to 25 years old.

It is the latest in a string of thefts which date back to March.

In the early hours of March 22, three black males and three white males, all aged around 18 years, stole £75 worth of alcohol.

A week later, on Saturday March 28 at 1.40am, six black men also aged around 18 years stole £40 worth of flapjacks and chicken from the store.

Thieves have even targeted the store in daylight. On Thursday April 2 at 2.20pm, a group of black males aged between 25 and 30 years took alcohol and toiletries worth £145.

And last Tuesday April 7 at 11pm, three black men, aged around 20 stole £26 worth of alcohol from the supermarket.

A spokeswoman for Haringey Police said: "The police will be making contact with the venue to offer crime prevention advice and the local safer neighbourhoods team will also visit to offer assistance."

The petrol station is still open 24 hours a day but drivers must now pay through a kiosk in the wall.

Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Meanwhile the attacks have led to unsettled feelings among residents living nearby.

Hermiston Avenue resident Lindsay Wright said: "You definitely get a sense if you're in there at night that it's quite unsafe. I don't think you want to be out after 10pm."

Ms Wright who is part of the Lap-Off campaign which opposes plans to turn the Music Palace in Crouch End into a lap dancing club, added: "We'll be making the point to Haringey Council and the police that if there is a problem with crime in that area then we should be looking at ways to reduce it.

"Opening a lap dancing club which sells alcohol until late at night and attracts new people to the area will only make the problem worse," she said.


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