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CCTV shows moment man swipes hundreds of pounds from Ilford carpet shop counter

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 December 2018

CCTV shows a supposed customers reaching over the counter of Taj Carpets, in Hickling Road. Photo: Taj Carpets

CCTV shows a supposed customers reaching over the counter of Taj Carpets, in Hickling Road. Photo: Taj Carpets

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An Ilford carpet shop has released CCTV footage showing the moment a man swiped hundreds of pounds from a shop counter in what is believed to be a coordinated distraction robbery.

Three alleged accomplices who reported stole £300 from Taj Carpets speak with a shop keeper. Photo: Taj CarpetsThree alleged accomplices who reported stole £300 from Taj Carpets speak with a shop keeper. Photo: Taj Carpets

Police are investigating after a man was caught on camera lifting £300 from a shopkeeper’s desk drawer in Taj Carpets, in Hickling Road, off Ilford Lane, last month (November 27) at around 2.40pm.

CCTV footage shows shop worker Saj Chubra, 25, briefly walking away from his desk to help a supposed customer when another – wearing a trucker-hat and carrying what looks to be his takeaway dinner – chooses his moment to strike.

“I feel really disappointed,” Saj said.

“And to target a carpet shop is just a really weird thing to do – but I guess it happens.”

Three alleged accomplices feel carpet samples in Taj Carpets. Photo: Taj CarpetsThree alleged accomplices feel carpet samples in Taj Carpets. Photo: Taj Carpets

He told the Recorder how a customer had entrusted him with the now-stolen cash to give to his boss, who did not wish to be named, which he decided to place in his desk drawer for safe-keeping.

Recounting the incident, he said: “A customer came in and said he wanted to buy a carpet for two rooms.

“I was going through the different options and being a salesman and then he said ‘I’m going to come back – let me think about it’.”

He soon returned with two accomplices, Saj said.

CCTV footage shows the trio wandering and striking up a conversation with Saj while caressing various samples before venturing to the main shop desk.

“One of them was in the middle looking out and another guy was with me as I was showing him the carpets,” he added.

“One went through the drawers to steal something.”

Saj did not notice the money was missing until checking the drawer days later.

“It’s very difficult,” said the shop owner, who opened the store three years ago.

“Nowhere is safe.”

A Met Police spokesman said: “A male is being sought in connection with a burglary where he reached over the counter and stole cash.

“There is CCTV but due to issues, police do not have possession of this yet.

“It is an ongoing investigation.”

Do you recognise any of these men?

Anyone with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime reference 4424359/18 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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