Knife-wielding teenage shoplifter terrifies Gosport shopkeeper who tried to stop thief
A SHOPKEEPER threatened with a knife by a teenage shoplifter has said: ‘I was so scared.’
Imtiyaz Mamode, 33, owns Premier in Wych Lane, Gosport, and tried to apprehend a thief on Thursday after enduring two months of stock being repeatedly stolen.
Mr Mamode followed a youngster who had stolen something from the shop – who then pulled a knife on him.
‘When he pulled the knife out I was so scared,’ he said.
‘These youngsters don’t fear their elders and don’t fear the law either, so you just don’t know how far they will go.
‘There are lots of good kids but this minority spoil it for everyone else.’
Mr Mamode had chased the youngster down the street – but the encounter took a turn when the teenager pulled a knife from his pocket.
The shopkeeper, who previously had a shop in Brockhurst, said: ‘I tried to stop one of them and chased him, thinking he was alone.
‘He got away and hid in a bush – when I turned around, there were two of them waiting for me.
‘The other one I had no problem with has he hadn’t stolen anything; I told them that I wanted my stuff back, then I would let them go home.
‘After that, he tried pushing me and threw his drink at me – the other one who had appeared then grabbed me by the collar and said “you can’t do anything”.
‘The kid who had been shoplifting then removed a knife and said he would stab me.’
Since taking over the shop in February, Mr Mamode said teenage shoplifters have been a plague on business.
Mr Mamode said the youngsters are ‘untouchable’ and is calling on the police to take action.
‘It started from the day we started,’ he said.
‘For two months we have had kids stealing from our shop – it’s so frustrating when you’re trying to run a business.’
Concerned for his safety and for other shopkeepers in the area, Mr Mamode is urging parents and police to take action, saying he feels ‘powerless’ to stop his shop from being targeted.