A gang of thugs smashed a Sainsbury’s shop front in south London in a nighttime raid as supermarkets come under huge pressure amid coronavirus fears.
Six men tried stealing alcohol from the New Kent Road store in Elephant and Castle at around 10.50pm yesterday by ‘concealing spirits in their clothes’.
Police said that Sainsbury’s staff confronted the men, who became ‘hostile and threatening’ and fled outside before trashing the store front.
Video shows thugs throwing a blue sign at the glass entry, which shatters. A larger group then runs away, leaving a trail of carnage behind them.
Six men tried stealing alcohol from the New Kent Road store in Elephant and Castle at around 10.50pm yesterday by ‘concealing spirits in their clothes’
The Met Police confirmed four arrests on suspicion of theft and criminal damage.
Sainsbury’s told MailOnline there was ‘an incident’ at the New Kent Road last night, and they will be helping police with their enquiries.
A spokesperson said: ‘It’s a shame that these things are happening.’
The Met Police said: ‘Staff had reported that six men had entered the store and began to conceal spirits in their clothes.
Video shows thugs throw a blue sign at the glass entry to a Sainsbury’s, which then shatters
A larger group runs away from the scene of the crime, leaving a trail of carnage behind them
‘When confronted by staff the men became hostile and threatening. When the group left one of them picked up a sign that was outside the store and damaged a window.
‘Officers attended and four men aged 20, 21, 21, and 22 were arrested near the scene on suspicion of theft and criminal damage.
These appalling scenes come as Britain’s supermarkets come under unprecedented pressure from customers stockpiling amid fears of self-isolation.
Hundreds of shoppers lined up outside supermarkets before the doors opened today after retailers enforced rationing measures to deal with a surge in panic-buying.
Retailers have stressed that there is plenty of food in the supply chain, but shoppers need to act responsibly to ensure everyone can get what they need – particularly the elderly and most vulnerable who may find regular shopping difficult.
Tesco and Sainsbury’s are limiting customers to buying three of any item, while Asda and Morrisons are restricting purchases across 1,250 regularly-bought lines.
The biggest chains were dramatically stepping up rationing measures yesterday amid the stockpiling as millions prepare for weeks of home quarantine. The demand has also led to angry scenes as people battled over household essentials.
Shoppers queuing outside a Sainsbury’s in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire
A Sainsbury’s in London also saw large queues of people outside this morning
Shoppers walked past empty shelves that had stocked loo roll at a Sainsbury’s in Norwich
A Tesco Extra in Mansfield at 3.30am, as supermarkets struggled to keep up with demand
Customers queue to pay for their shopping in an Asda in West Bridgford, Nottingham
Elderly people wait for a Sainsbury’s supermarket in Hertford to open to stock up on essentials
Older customers queue outside a Sainsbury’s in Leamington Spa for a so-called ‘silver hour’
There was a queue of hundreds of shoppers outside a Sainsbury’s in Norwich, Cheshire
And the capital could be days away from total lockdown after Boris Johnson yesterday refused to rule out ‘further and faster’ measures to battle the coronavirus.
The Prime Minister declared that ‘ruthless’ enforcement of so-called social distancing measure – such as working from home and avoiding social gatherings in pubs, cinemas, theatres, and restaurants – was needed.
Some 953 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in London alone – more than a third of the UK total of 2,626.
A lockdown could be implemented this weekend in the capital, which officials believe has become a ‘city of superspreaders’, according to The Daily Telegraph.
It comes as military chiefs are putting 20,000 troops on standby to be deployed to Britain’s streets, hospitals and other key sites to help tackle the pandemic.
It is thought that many are undergoing fast-track training on how to drive oxygen tankers around the country in order to supply hospitals.
Helicopters are also being readied to transport supplies.
Thousands of soldiers will be mobilised or flown home from overseas programmes and put at high readiness to move as part of a new Covid Support Force.
A commuter wears a mask whilst walking across London Bridge into the City of London
In the centre of the capital streets are largely empty as people stay away amid the spread of coronavirus. Pictured is Parliament Square
The statue of former British PM Winston Churchill was spotted wearing a face mask in his old constituency of Woodford Green in London on Wednesday morning
Shocking moment shop staff tackle ‘thieves’ to the ground after they ‘try to leave store without paying for trolley full of goods’
This is the shocking moment shop staff tackle suspected thieves to the ground as they attempt to steal a trolley full of goods.
Video filmed in the car park of The Food Warehouse in Leigh, Greater Manchester shows four staff members confronting the group.
They start pulling food objects from the back of a navy blue Zafira before one of the ‘thieves’ is thrown to the ground as a maul breaks out.
A colleague then grabs one suspect and throws him to the ground. The man attempts to get back to his feet, but is knocked back down again.
Meanwhile, food items are pulled from the rear of the car.
One member of staff then pulls his phone out in order to take a picture of the registration of the vehicle, before the car pulls away and speeds off.
Store owner Iceland confirmed two men ‘attempted to leave The Food Warehouse in Leigh with a trolley full of stock for which they had not paid’.
A spokesperson said ‘it is extremely frustrating that some individuals regard this as an opportunity to steal… at a time when our stores and colleagues are under unprecedented pressure’ amid coronavirus hysteria.
They added the matter had been reported to police.
This is the shocking moment store staff tackle suspected thieves to the ground as they attempt to steal a trolley full of goods amid the coronavirus panic
Posted to Facebook yesterday, social-media users were aghast at the scene, with one writing: ‘Well done lads the thieving b******* hope they crash the car’