Shopkeeper threatened with gun and knife in Walsall robbery, court told

A Walsall store owner was threatened with a gun and a knife when he tried to stop armed robbers fleeing with expensive electronic toy cars, a court heard.

Appliance Electronics, in Harrison Street, Bloxwich. Photo: Google.
Appliance Electronics, in Harrison Street, Bloxwich. Photo: Google.

Shopkeeper Zishad Ahmed chased three men to a waiting getaway car and tried to grab one of the boxes back, but fell to the ground as the vehicle, a Nissan X-Trail, was driven from the scene on October 7, 2020, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Craig Ramsey, 38, from Smethwick, and Thomas Smith, 32, from Stafford, are on trial accused of robbery and possession of an imitation firearm at Appliance Electronics, in Harrison Street, Bloxwich.

Prosecuting barrister Mr Martin Liddiard said: "At about 12.50pm on October 7 three men came into the shop. Those men were looking at remote control cars and appeared initially to be pretty normal customers.

"They were not. They remained for a couple of minutes and then left. After another couple of minutes and those males came back. Two of them came into the shop and one remained at the door.

"The two males picked up the boxes, each containing a remote-controlled vehicle, and ran out of the shop with some vigour and left. They ran to a getaway vehicle. Mr Ahmed gave chase out of the shop and across to the car where there was another person, effectively the driver who was in the car.

"Mr Ahmed went to the passenger side and tried to grab hold of one of those boxes. As he was hanging on to it, the person on the other side was hanging on to the other side. Then the driver of the vehicle pointed a firearm into the face of Mr Ahmed, whom you may think as a member of the public feared he was inches away from being harmed."

Mr Liddiard told the court that the victim had no idea whether the weapon being pointed at him was real or fake and that another man got out of the car and swung a knife towards his face.

"The driver of that vehicle started to pull away and Mr Ahmed fell to the ground hurting himself in a minor way," added the barrister.

"This was no ordinary shop theft. It was a planned theft associated with violence," he added.

Mr Liddiard told the court that Mr Ahmed made inquiries over social media which resulted in a phone call stating that the Nissan had been spotted outside a property in Fullbrook Road, Walsall.

The police were called and Ramsey was arrested, while Smith was arrested at a later date.

Giving evidence and under-cross examination by Mr Timothy Sapwell, defending Ramsey, Mr Ahmed insisted he had been threatened with weapons and has not made up the story. He said the stolen toys were worth about £1,200.

Ramsey, of Beakes Road, Smethwick, and Smith, of Newport Road, Stafford, deny the offences. The trial continues.

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