March 12 2014 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
A man was on his way to track down his daughter’s stolen laptop in an Ilford shop when he found police were already raiding the business on Thursday.
Salim Jama, 51, arrived at second hand shop CeX, in High Road, to see it swarming with officers shortly after 9am.
He hopes to be reunited with the MacBook Pro, which was on sale for £750, after checking it had the same serial number.
He said: “It was only a couple of months old - it was for my daughter to use at university.
“She had work on it but everything has been deleted.
“She’s very relieved but not completely because it’s still with the police.”
Daughter Humaairah, 18, had spotted the computer in the shop window after it disappeared when their home, in Coventry Road, was burgled on November 15.
Supt Ellie O’Connor was at the raid when Mr Jama arrived.
She said: “It was amazing to see him, you couldn’t have made it up.
“It was just one of those days, I was so happy they got it back.”
The laptop was not the only stolen item found at CeX, which sells DVDs, computer games, phones, computers and other electrical goods.
A police spokesman said a “significant number” were discovered in co-ordinated raids at the businesses in Ilford and Lewisham, and connected addresses.
Police are encouraging second hand traders to be cautious buying goods and to contact police immediately if they notice anything suspicious.
Members of the public are being warned to be wary of cut-price items, especially while shopping for Christmas presents as burglaries rise with darker nights.
Anyone buying stolen goods can be prosecuted.
Arshan Bhatty, 30, of St Lukes Avenue in Ilford, has been charged with four counts of handling stolen goods.
He is not an employee of CeX.
He was remanded in custody at a Barkingside Magistrates’ Court hearing on Saturday.
Gants Hill became the focus of a Twitter frenzy over the weekend after One Direction singer Zayn Malik was spotted at nightclub Faces.