Norwich phone shop worker assaulted in attempted robbery

11:47 am May 13, 2022

2:42 PM May 13, 2022

A worker at a downtown store suffered severe bruising after a group of thugs tried to steal phones from under his nose.

At around 3.45pm on Wednesday, four young people were captured on CCTV footage entering the Phone Land mobile phone store in Gentleman’s Walk.

Phone Land staff member Hanan Hussain Syed said he was alone in the store when the group entered.

Mr Syed noticed the criminals breaking into the cupboard at the front of the store in an attempt to steal an iPhone 11 and an iPhone XR.

Police forensic services at Gentleman’s Walk, Norwich, on Wednesday May 11
– Credit: David Cross

After grabbing the phones, Mr Syed closed the door to the store and told the group to stay away as he called the police.

Mr Syed was then attacked and the would-be thieves fled before the cops arrived.

A Norfolk Police spokeswoman said: “There were reports that four youths attempted to steal items before assaulting a member of staff.

“The victim suffered minor injuries as a result of the incident. Investigations are ongoing.”

Mr Syed added: “I was scared because I was alone and the door was locked. Anything could have happened.

“I have a big bruise on my bicep which is very painful.”

Police forensic services later arrived at the store and remained on the scene for a few hours to take fingerprints and review CCTV footage.

Chantry Place had previously broadcast a message on the city’s radio system alerting stores to phone thieves.

Chantry Place in Norwich is set to extend the opening hours of its car park.

Norwich Chantry Square
– Credit: Chantry Place

A spokeswoman for Chantry Place said: ‘Our CCTV operators have spotted a group acting suspiciously in the center and, while continuing to monitor them, we have also notified our phone shops as a precaution.

Staff at Mobile Three in Haymarket and EE in Gentleman’s Walk also noticed opportunists entering their stores that day.

A member of staff at Three said: “I thought there was something suspicious going on and I could see a group come in with a bit of an attitude.

“They tried to pull a phone out of the mount but it’s screwed down.”