Two men – thought to be in their 30s and 40s – have been arrested on suspicion of armed robbery after an incident at a Matalan at a retail park in Kidderminster, Worcestershire at around 8.30am this morning
Two men have been arrested after an armed robbery forced the closure of an entire retail park.
The suspects, who are aged between 30 and 40, are now in custody on suspicion of armed robbery after the incident at a Matalan in Kidderminster, Worcestershire at around 8.30am on Saturday.
Officers from West Mercia Police stormed the shop in search of the suspects, and were later seen pinning them down on the floor as armed officers arrived, a witness told Birmingham Live.
The eyewitness then saw a large number of undercover cops in unmarked cars arriving before a forensics officer retrieved a “firearm” that “looked like handgun”.
The area was cordoned off while police dealt with the incident and the men were arrested at the scene. Both remain in police custody as investigations continue.
No injuries were reported and it was an “isolated incident” West Mercia Police said. A large police presence will remain throughout today.
An employee working at a nearby store told Birmingham Mail of the “scary” moment she saw armed officers storm the suspects.
Birmingham Live WS)
Blink Vision worker Julie recalled seeing police entering Matalan to search for the armed men.
She said: “I got here at 8.45am and there was uniformed officers who had a man pinned to the ground and more police then arrived.
“About half an hour later around half a dozen armed police officers and then 15 came. They were in undercover cars and changing into protective clothes on our car park.
“We saw forensics handle a firearm, looked like a handgun. The police then went into Matalan through a side door because there was a man still in there. They were in there for half an hour at least.
“There was a police dog. We were told to remain in our shop while they cleared the Matalan.
“It was a bit scary. Nothing like that happens here.”
Birmingham Live WS)
Detective Inspector Gareth Lougher said: “We want to reassure the public that we believe this to have been an isolated incident and no injuries were reported. As we continue to investigate the incident people may see a large police presence around the retail park for the majority of the day.
“If anyone has any information that could help us with our investigations please get in touch.”
West Mercia’s Assistant Chief Constable for Local Policing Rachel Jones thanked all members of the force involved in this afternoon’s operation, from contact centre staff to firearms officers and detectives, on Twitter.
She tweeted: “Thank you Contact Centre staff; Patrol officers; Roads Policing; AFOs and CID for their collective and coordinated efforts and professionalism in the arrest of two suspects for robbery at the Matalan store in Kidderminster. My thoughts go out to the Matalan staff.”
The retail park, which was cordoned off earlier this morning, has now reopened. Anyone who was in the area at the time of the incident, or may have CCTV or dash-cam footage is asked to contact West Mercia Police quoting incident 136i of 9 April, 2022 by using visiting the website https://www.westmercia.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/.
Alternatively, if you have information but don’t feel comfortable speaking to police, you can speak to the independent charity Crimestoppers. You can contact them at https://crimestoppers-uk.org/ or 0800 555 111. Matalan has been approached to comment.