Family of high profile retailer wrestle gunman out of store

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A brave shopkeeper and shop assistant stopped a masked gunman, who tried to rob their West Midlands convenience store, by wrestling the man out of their shop.

The incident, which took place in Walsall on Christmas Eve, was captured on CCTV and shows shopkeeper Ajaib Garcha, father of well-known retailer Rav Garcha (pictured), forcing the suspect out of the store to protect staff and customers.

The footage, which can be seen below, was released by West Midlands Police in a bid to trace the masked suspect who fled the scene.

The gunman entered Spend n Save in Pleck at around 19:00 on Sunday December 24 and immediately pointed his weapon at 61-year-old Ajaib and his unsuspecting daughter Barminder, who works as an assistant in the store.

Ajaib quickly jumped into action and, with no thought for his own safety, attempted to remove the gun from the raider’s hand. Barminder, 28, soon joined him and they both bundled the suspect out of the shop door.

West Midlands Police believe a scuffle ensued outside the shop and have called on any passing drivers, who may have witnessed the disturbance, to come forward. 

The suspect is around 6ft 2ins tall and slim. He was wearing a grey hooded tracksuit and a mask when he entered the Spend n Save store. It is believed he fled the shop on Pleck Road in the direction of Wednesbury Road.

Commenting on the incident, Rav said: ”Your first thought as a son or child is worry for your family. But I know my Dad is not someone that is going to back down from aggression and when your livelihood is on the line, you’re going to do anything to protect it.

“As a fellow retailer, I know what its like and after more than 35 years in the business, my Dad has come up against a lot of incidents, like many retailers across the country.

“The ACS did a study that showed incidents such as these are in decline, but I think what this shows is that retailers need report these types of crimes, if not to the Police then to Crimestoppers so at least there is a record of every incident.”

Detective Constable Gerry Maley, from Force CID, said: “As the footage shows the store’s owner and his assistant managed to overpower the assailant and wrestle him out of the shop in a matter of seconds.

“We know the struggle continued outside and believe a number of passing vehicles slowed down and perhaps even stopped to witness the scuffle - I am urging these people to get in touch.

“Although the description is limited, it’s likely the individual is from the local area and someone will know exactly who is responsible.”

Police are appealing to anyone who may be able to assist in their investigation. To contact West Midlands Police call 101 or email g.maley@west-midlands.pnn.police.uk . Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting crime number 20WS/277697W/17. 

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