High road 'crime wave': Traders want more police
Businesses in the borough say they are experiencing a crime wave and have called for more police patrols after two shops were burgled in the same week. Charity shops and businesses in Kilburn High Road, say the area has become a target for thieves and
Businesses in the borough say they are experiencing a 'crime wave' and have called for more police patrols after two shops were burgled in the same week.
Charity shops and businesses in Kilburn High Road, say the area has become a target for thieves and criminals who are intimidating shoppers and damaging businesses.
In the most recent burglary, thieves knocked through a brick wall at the rear of Ahmad Halal Meat butchers shop on the night of Wednesday, February 23 and made off with �180 in cash, several thousand pounds worth of stock, and caused structural damage to the building.
Just days earlier, on Wednesday, February 17, the Oxfam shop on Kilburn High Road, was broken into.
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Four men smashed down the glass front door and stole a large quantity of men's clothing, CDs and jewellery.
A witness spotted four men loading the stolen goods into a white van parked outside the front of the shop and called the police, but the men fled.
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Police are hunting two white men who ran off towards Kingsgate Place, and two black men who made of towards Kingsgate Estate, in connection with the incident.
Oxfam shop manager, Mohamed Ouissellat, who was attacked by a shoplifter a few days before the burglary, said Kilburn High Road has become so dangerous that he queried whether Oxfam should have an outlet on the street.
He said: "The robbery was a real shock. I don't know how they did it because the door is so heavy. We are just luck nobody was hurt.
"I want the police to increase their patrols. We don't feel secure, not my staff or my customers."
Manager at the burgled butchers shop, Aziz Ahmat, said the burglary had put the family-run business under financial strain and left employees scared.
He said: "It is terrible, they have caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and we can't afford to pay for repairs. It is scary that we have been targeted by criminals like this, but it is a family business so we have to keep going."
Shops along the High Road said they were plagued by thieves and shoplifters who stole hundreds of pounds worth of stock every week.
Eleanor Davies, manager of the Cancer Research shop, said shoplifting had become such a big problem they were considering installing CCTV cameras and recruiting a volunteer security guard.
She said: "There is a bit of a crime wave. Shoplifters target the window displays, if they see something expensive they nip in and take it. We lose about �50 to �60 worth of stock a week through shoplifting."
Marina Maurice, store manager at the PDSA charity shop, located across the road from the burgled Oxfam store, said thieves often targeted her shop. She said: "Shoplifting is rife. I've caught two shoplifters in the last two days."
Police say they are investigating the burglary at the Oxfam shop and will consider whether extra patrols are needed along Kilburn High Road, but deny that the area has experienced a significant increase in crime.
A police spokeswoman said: "We can confirm police were called to reports of a burglary at the Oxfam shop Kilburn High Road on the February 17 at 11.55pm.
"No arrests have been made.