May 23, 2022

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Staff cower 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 water guns which they claimed contain acid

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North London: Hooded gang of teens storm JD Sports

Staff cower as hooded thugs storm a sports shop and flee 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 have assaulted or threatened staff with screwdrivers, batons and water guns which they claimed contained acid.

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

Leading expert Farrah McNutt, of retail security firm CAT UK, warned: “This is an increasing problem and these gangs are becoming more violent.







Raids have taken place at sports stores across the country
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The raids have been dubbed The Great Trainer Robbery
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“A lot of gang crime – especially those stealing trainers – is going in to fund other gang activities including drugs and weapons.

“The violence that goes alongside this crime is ridiculous. They are becoming ruthless.”

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

Hunger for top brands of trainers like the £155 Nike Air Max Ultra is fuelling the problem.

In a brazen incident in Bedfordshire last year a gang of teens walked around a store near closing time, filling bags with trainers and threatening staff who tried to intervene. They drove off with a £1,000 haul.







Thugs storm a JD Sports store in Tottenham, North London
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Chaos erupts in JD Sports, Tottenham on Halloween
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In Chester, a gang stole trainers worth £300 and assaulted staff – but were caught heading to a car.

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

Northumbria Police reported a Sports Direct worker was squirted 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 get off scot free. But last November jail terms were handed to a gang that trashed 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, with Levi Murray, 19, and a third thug, attacked a group of young men.

The mayhem shown in our pictures was captured at a JD store in Tottenham, North London – and the crime stats were uncovered by sports news website 101greatgoals.com.

Ben Davies, of 101, said: “Two of our biggest high street names are in a daily battle against this trainer crime and it is clearly terrifying for the staff.”







Cain Gordon, 20, pulled a baton from his shorts and alongside Levi Murray and a third thug attacked a group of young men
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JD Sports said: “Safety and security of staff and customers is our highest priority.

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

Sports Direct was approached for comment.