Staff tremble as hooded thugs storm sports shops in ‘Great Trainer Robbery’

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Gangs have assaulted or threatened staff with screwdrivers, batons and even squirt guns they say contain acid

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North London: A gang of hooded teenagers storms JD Sports

Staff cower as hooded thugs storm a sports store and make off with gear in a terrifying new phenomenon dubbed The Great Trainer Robbery.

The raid was typical of 191 incidents across the UK at JD Sports and Sports Direct outlets in the past year alone.

Gangs assaulted or threatened staff with screwdrivers, batons and squirt guns they said contained acid.

They grab valuable sneakers and tracksuits and then flee, some using expensive getaway cars.

Leading expert Farrah McNutt, of retail security firm CAT UK, warned: “It’s a growing problem and these gangs are getting more and more violent.







Raids have taken place at sports shops across the country
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Raids have been dubbed The Great Trainer Robbery
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“A lot of gang crime – especially one that robs coaches – goes to fund other gang activity, including drugs and guns.

“The violence that accompanies this crime is ridiculous. They become ruthless.

The figures emerged after a Freedom of Information request to UK police forces and related to JD and Sports Direct stores only.

The hunger for top sneaker brands like the £155 Nike Air Max Ultra is fueling the problem.

In a brazen incident in Bedfordshire last year, a group of teenagers marched into a store near closing time, filling bags with coaches and threatening staff who tried to intervene. They left with £1,000 transport.







Thugs storm a JD Sports store in Tottenham, North London
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Chaos erupts at JD Sports, Tottenham on Halloween
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In Chester, a gang robbed coaches worth £300 and assaulted staff – but were caught walking towards a car.

JD Sports staff in Cleveland were threatened by two thieves armed with screwdrivers.

Northumbria Police have reported that a Sports Direct employee was sprayed in the face with a water gun by a robber who claimed it was filled with acid.

The same store was targeted eight times in 12 months.

Many raiders escape unscathed. But last November jail sentences were handed down to a gang who ransacked a JD store in Manchester.







Levi Murray (pictured), Cain Gordon and a third thug attacked a group of young men
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Cain Gordon, 20, pulled a baton from his shorts and, along with 19-year-old Levi Murray and a third thug, attacked a group of young men.

The chaos shown in our photos was captured at a JD store in Tottenham, north London – and the crime statistics were uncovered by sports news website 101greatgoals.com.

Ben Davies of 101 said: “Two of our biggest street names are in a daily battle with this coaching crime and it’s clearly terrifying for the staff.”







Cain Gordon, 20, pulled a truncheon from his shorts and alongside Levi Murray and a third thug attacked a group of young men
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MEN Media)


JD Sports said, “The safety and security of staff and customers is our top priority.

“All stores are covered by CCTV and we give our staff extensive training on how to handle difficult situations.”

Sports Direct have been approached for comment.

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