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The looting begins: Shocking moment gang of thugs smash doors of south London Sainsbury's after raiding store for alcohol as capital approaches total shutdown due to coronavirus

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 19/03/2020 Jack Wright For Mailonline

In pictures: Coronavirus outbreak (Photos)

A gang of thugs smashed a Sainsbury's shop front in south London in a nighttime raid as supermarkets come under huge pressure amid coronavirus fears. 

Six men tried stealing alcohol from the New Kent Road store in Elephant and Castle at around 10.50pm yesterday by 'concealing spirits in their clothes'.  

Six men tried stealing alcohol from the New Kent Road store in Elephant and Castle at around 10.50pm yesterday by 'concealing spirits in their clothes' © Provided by Daily Mail Six men tried stealing alcohol from the New Kent Road store in Elephant and Castle at around 10.50pm yesterday by 'concealing spirits in their clothes' Police said that Sainsbury's staff confronted the men, who became 'hostile and threatening' and fled outside before trashing the store front.

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Video shows thugs throw a blue sign at the glass entry, which shatters. A larger group then runs away, leaving a trail of carnage behind them.   

The Met Police confirmed four arrests on suspicion of theft and criminal damage. 

Sainsbury's told MailOnline there was 'an incident' at the New Kent Road last night, and they will be helping police with their enquiries.

Thugs trashing Sainsbury's shop front © Provided by Daily Mail Thugs trashing Sainsbury's shop front A spokesperson said: 'It's a shame that these things are happening.'  

Thugs trashing Sainsbury's shop front © Provided by Daily Mail Thugs trashing Sainsbury's shop front The Met Police said: 'Staff had reported that six men had entered the store and began to conceal spirits in their clothes. 

A larger group runs away from the scene of the crime, leaving a trail of carnage behind them © Provided by Daily Mail A larger group runs away from the scene of the crime, leaving a trail of carnage behind them

'When confronted by staff the men became hostile and threatening. When the group left one of them picked up a sign that was outside the store and damaged a window.

Related: Coronavirus leaves the world looking like a ghost town (Photos)

'Officers attended and four men aged 20, 21, 21, and 22 were arrested near the scene on suspicion of theft and criminal damage.

'Enquiries continue.' 

a group of people standing in front of a building: Shoppers queuing outside a Sainsbury's in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire © Provided by Daily Mail Shoppers queuing outside a Sainsbury's in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire These appalling scenes come as Britain's supermarkets come under unprecedented pressure from customers stockpiling amid fears of self-isolation.

a group of people standing in front of a building: A Sainsbury's in London also saw large queues of people outside this morning © Provided by Daily Mail A Sainsbury's in London also saw large queues of people outside this morning Hundreds of shoppers lined up outside supermarkets before the doors opened today after retailers enforced rationing measures to deal with a surge in panic-buying.

a man standing on a cart: Shoppers walked past empty shelves that had stocked loo roll at a Sainsbury's in Norwich © Provided by Daily Mail Shoppers walked past empty shelves that had stocked loo roll at a Sainsbury's in Norwich Retailers have stressed that there is plenty of food in the supply chain, but shoppers need to act responsibly to ensure everyone can get what they need - particularly the elderly and most vulnerable who may find regular shopping difficult.

A Tesco Extra in Mansfield at 3.30am, as supermarkets struggled to keep up with demand © Provided by Daily Mail A Tesco Extra in Mansfield at 3.30am, as supermarkets struggled to keep up with demand Tesco and Sainsbury's are limiting customers to buying three of any item, while Asda and Morrisons are restricting purchases across 1,250 regularly-bought lines.

a group of people in a store: Customers queue to pay for their shopping in an Asda in West Bridgford, Nottingham © Provided by Daily Mail Customers queue to pay for their shopping in an Asda in West Bridgford, Nottingham The biggest chains were dramatically stepping up rationing measures yesterday amid the stockpiling as millions prepare for weeks of home quarantine. The demand has also led to angry scenes as people battled over household essentials. 

a group of people standing in front of a building: Elderly people wait for a Sainsbury's supermarket in Hertford to open to stock up on essentials © Provided by Daily Mail Elderly people wait for a Sainsbury's supermarket in Hertford to open to stock up on essentials

And the capital could be days away from total lockdown after Boris Johnson yesterday refused to rule out 'further and faster' measures to battle the coronavirus.

a group of people standing on a sidewalk: Older customers queue outside a Sainsbury's in Leamington Spa for a so-called 'silver hour' © Provided by Daily Mail Older customers queue outside a Sainsbury's in Leamington Spa for a so-called 'silver hour' The Prime Minister declared that 'ruthless' enforcement of so-called social distancing measure - such as working from home and avoiding social gatherings in pubs, cinemas, theatres, and restaurants - was needed.

a group of people riding bikes down a street: There was a queue of hundreds of shoppers outside a Sainsbury's in Norwich, Cheshire © Provided by Daily Mail There was a queue of hundreds of shoppers outside a Sainsbury's in Norwich, Cheshire Some 953 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in London alone - more than a third of the UK total of 2,626. 

a group of people walking on a city street: In the centre of the capital streets are largely empty as people stay away amid the spread of coronavirus. Pictured is Parliament Square © Provided by Daily Mail In the centre of the capital streets are largely empty as people stay away amid the spread of coronavirus. Pictured is Parliament Square A lockdown could be implemented this weekend in the capital, which officials believe has become a 'city of superspreaders', according to The Daily Telegraph.

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It comes as military chiefs are putting 20,000 troops on standby to be deployed to Britain’s streets, hospitals and other key sites to help tackle the pandemic.

It is thought that many are undergoing fast-track training on how to drive oxygen tankers around the country in order to supply hospitals.

a person wearing a costume: The statue of former British PM Winston Churchill was spotted wearing a face mask in his old constituency of Woodford Green in London on Wednesday morning © Provided by Daily Mail The statue of former British PM Winston Churchill was spotted wearing a face mask in his old constituency of Woodford Green in London on Wednesday morning Helicopters are also being readied to transport supplies. 

Thousands of soldiers will be mobilised or flown home from overseas programmes and put at high readiness to move as part of a new Covid Support Force.

Shocking moment shop staff tackle 'thieves' to the ground after they 'try to leave store without paying for trolley full of goods' 

a group of people standing on a cart: This is the shocking moment store staff tackle suspected thieves to the ground as they attempt to steal a trolley full of goods amid the coronavirus panic © Provided by Daily Mail This is the shocking moment store staff tackle suspected thieves to the ground as they attempt to steal a trolley full of goods amid the coronavirus panic This is the shocking moment shop staff tackle suspected thieves to the ground as they attempt to steal a trolley full of goods.

Video filmed in the car park of The Food Warehouse in Leigh, Greater Manchester shows four staff members confronting the group.

a man standing in front of a car: Scene of shocking incident outside Food Warehouse © Provided by Daily Mail Scene of shocking incident outside Food Warehouse They start pulling food objects from the back of a navy blue Zafira before one of the 'thieves' is thrown to the ground as a maul breaks out. 

A colleague then grabs one suspect and throws him to the ground. The man attempts to get back to his feet, but is knocked back down again. 

a man standing in a parking lot: Older customers queue outside a Sainsbury's in Leamington Spa for a so-called 'silver hour' © Provided by Daily Mail Older customers queue outside a Sainsbury's in Leamington Spa for a so-called 'silver hour' Meanwhile, food items are pulled from the rear of the car.

One member of staff then pulls his phone out in order to take a picture of the registration of the vehicle, before the car pulls away and speeds off. 

Store owner Iceland confirmed two men 'attempted to leave The Food Warehouse in Leigh with a trolley full of stock for which they had not paid'.

A spokesperson said 'it is extremely frustrating that some individuals regard this as an opportunity to steal... at a time when our stores and colleagues are under unprecedented pressure' amid coronavirus hysteria.

They added the matter had been reported to police.

Click or tap here for the latest travel advice for people travelling back to the UK from affected areas, including whether to self-isolate. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.


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