Have-a-go hero foils bike showroom raid
Burglars have targeted a motorcycle shop, exactly six months after an attempted armed robbery at its sister store.
The gang arrived at the Aprilia motorbike showroom in St James’s Road, at 11.10pm on Sunday, and used an angle grinder to cut through the shutters before attempting to steal motorbikes.
But the burglars escaped empty-handed when neighbours living above the showrooms disturbed them, before chasing them off just before police arrived.
Four bikes were damaged in the raid.
Hadi Babkir, who was spending the evening with his cousin, became aware of the intruders after hearing noises downstairs.
He said: “I heard a racket coming from downstairs. “We came down and I saw four black guys breaking into the shop. I came out with a piece of the bannister from the staircase and chased them off down the road with it.
“I caught one of them, but at that point the police arrived and he got away. It is not the first time I have come out of my flat because of people trying to rob one of the two motorbike shops.”
On September 4 six armed thieves tried to seize two £25,000 bikes from Aprilia’s sister store Ducati across the road.
Sales manager Adrian Couzens and his colleague Paul Read beat back the men, who were dressed in biking leathers and helmets, and the group fled empty-handed.
CCTV captured the dramatic confrontation between the colleagues and intruders.
Mr Couzens said: “This is the fourth time it has happened, but this is not just our problem.
“I can think of at least three other shops that have been hit. I do think the two incidents could be linked and I want the police to do their work and finally catch these people."
A police spokesman said: “Police were called at about 11.10pm on March 3, to reports a group of men was attempting to break into the shop.
“Police arrived shortly afterwards and the suspects dispersed in different directions, some on mopeds. “Officers searched the area but were unable to locate or detain any of the suspects. There have been no arrests.”
If you have any information call Croydon police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.