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Police hunt for two BMX riders after a gun and knife pulled on terrified teens in Gloucester

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 27, 2014

General view of Abbeymead Avenue

Comments (14)

TWO robbers pulled a handgun and a knife on four terrified teenagers, then stole their mobile phones and wallets.

The frightening incident happened just after 11pm in Abbeymead, Gloucester.

Police have launched uniformed and plain clothed patrols to try and catch the pair, who were on BMX bikes when they struck.

A community leader said the incident was very worrying.

The robbery happened close to Laurel Gate at around 11.05pm on Monday after the two robbers, who were on bikes, followed four teenagers from Tesco Express in Abbeymead Avenue.

They stopped the victims before one pulled out a knife and the other pulled out what was described as a black handgun.

Items including mobile phones and wallets were taken by the robbers before they made off. The victims, two aged 18 and two aged 17, were unhurt but badly shaken.

A BMX and a black and white mountain bike are believed to be the bikes used by the robbers.

The first robber was described as white, in his early 20s, 5ft 9in to 5ft 11in tall, of skinny build and wearing a light coloured balaclava or face mask, grey hooded top and black jogging trousers.

The second was described as white, in his late teens or early 20s, 5ft 7ins to 5ft 8in tall, of skinny build and wearing black clothing including possibly a tracksuit and a black scarf or bandana.

A wallet was recovered in Blaby Close, Abbeymead so it is thought the offenders travelled in that direction after committing the robbery.

Chief Inspector Neil Smith of Gloucester police said though worrying, a robbery like this is unusual in this area.

“We understand this incident will worry people but I must reassure the community that it is very unusual, in fact it is the first robbery in the entire Hucclecote and Abbey area this year,” he said.

“While the gun may have been imitation, the use of weapons is abhorrent and something that we will never allow to become the norm in our city.

“Covert and overt patrols will be happening in the area to provide reassurance and trace the offenders while our investigation continues.

“In the meantime I’m sure personal safety will be on people’s minds. We would urge everyone to review the personal safety advice available at gloucestershire.police.uk.

“I would also urge anyone who feels intimidated by any group of people to try and stay somewhere safe and call police.”

City councillor for Abbey, Norman Ravenhill, said this latest incident was worrying as it appeared to be another crime involving a knife.

The Citizen is backing calls for better education on the dangers of carrying a knife, following the death of Churchdown hairdresser Hollie Gazzard in Gloucester last week. A man has been charged with her murder.

“It’s very shocking,” Mr Ravenhill said. “It’s shocking for Abbeymead and for Gloucester – what’s happening? It’s just appalling, what’s going on?

“I hope those responsible will be caught soon.

“I am sure the police are working hard to catch those responsible and I would urge anyone who knows anything about it to contact them.

“Although the victims were shaken up, I am relieved to hear at least that they were not physically hurt.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident, recognises the descriptions or has any information about the case should call 101.

This week, Home Secretary Theresa May backed calls for a zero tolerance to knife crime.

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  • RoadWombat  |  February 28 2014, 12:36PM

    Sorry, Justica - Operationally, the police act independently "Case law sets out the important principle that police officers act as officers of the Crown in carrying out their duties, but are not to be treated as 'servants' of any executive authority and can use their powers independently as they decide.".

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  • Justica  |  February 28 2014, 9:44AM

    The PCC is obviously not there to fight knife crime personally by disarming individuals. He is there to liaise with Police on behalf of concerns by the general public (of which knife crime is one these). He himself would regard ALL crime in the county as being included in his remit and it is therefore, stupid to say it has 'nothing to do with him'.

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  • WitzEnd  |  February 27 2014, 10:18PM

    I am the mum of one of the boys (who is 18 tomorrow) and want to thank you for your comments and concern; I too would like to donate to a fund to eradicate knife crime, thanks MentalBeaver. Sadly, it will never happen as RoadWombat rightly points out. Let's just put our faith in the police and hope they are caught before they do this again.

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  • RoadWombat  |  February 27 2014, 8:27PM

    "...the PCC should reassure everyone what action if any, is going to be taken." Nothing to do with the PCC (although he might like to get a bit of publicity out of it!). It's an operational matter and thus the remit of the Chief Constable. No that there is much she can do, except bluster about it (see below).

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  • RoadWombat  |  February 27 2014, 8:24PM

    "I would gladly donate money to a charity/fund to help eradicate knife crime." I'm sure you would, but it'll never be "eradicated". A knife amnesty will make the public feel good and provide a picture opportnity for a senior police officer with a bin, but have NIL effect. Every house has a host of knives. The police are unlikely to go on a "stop and search" swoop because the ethnic minorities don't like it (and police powers in that area are about to be cut anyway). CCTV will do little and most places are already covered. The next thing that'll be talked about is "education" and that will have very little impact if someone's running with a peer group where it is the norm. You're just left with harsher punishments and the prisons are full. Come up with the answer and I'm sure everyone will be glad to hear it!

  • MentalBeaver  |  February 27 2014, 4:54PM

    I would gladly donate money to a charity/fund to help eradicate knife crime.

  • GlostaBoy123  |  February 27 2014, 3:56PM

    @RoadWombat Sit behind your computer and continue enjoying tarnishing the Barton Street area, whilst we are happy and comfortable living here :)

  • RoadWombat  |  February 27 2014, 3:16PM

    Glostaboy - As you have correctly pointed out, four out of the six incidents occurred in the Barton Street area (which is "situation normal" for there) so people can rest easy that nothing untoward is happening in the rest of the city beyond media hype.

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  • GlostaBoy123  |  February 27 2014, 2:14PM

    Sadly, this will be a forgotten incident few weeks down the line like the Stratton Road, Gloucester knifepoint robbery, Coop High Street, Gloucester stabbing, Falkner Street, Gloucester shooting, Barton Street, Gloucester gunpoint robbery of a shop. Not forgetting, Russel Street, Gloucester assault on 17th February and many others.

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  • GlostaBoy123  |  February 27 2014, 2:06PM

    This is the case with Barton Street RoadWombat " If a dramatic event happens the press report it and it (as with all stories) it remains in the public consciousness for a few days. When another similar event happens within that time period, it gets linked to the previous one and blown out of proportion"

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