Monday, 18 December 2017

Landlady’s shock at raid by masked gang

A PUB landlady has told of her ordeal when six masked raiders broke into her home and stole thousands of

A PUB landlady has told of her ordeal when six masked raiders broke into her home and stole thousands of pounds.

The gang burst into Kristy Macartney’s flat above the Gardeners Arms pub in Emmer Green in the early hours of Monday last week.

They ransacked the flat for half-an-hour in search of valuables before leaving with the money and a CCTV system.

Miss Macartney, 30, who lives with her boyfriend Ravi Singh and business partner Sahil Dutta, said she was left shocked but relieved that they weren’t hurt.

She said: “I’ve never experienced anything like this. I feel edgy now because it’s my home. Anyone who’s had anything broken into will feel the same.”

The raiders, who were dressed in black and had covered their faces with scarves, removed iron bars to break through the upstairs bathroom window at about 2.30am.

Miss Macartney was in bed with her partner watching a film on their laptop when the thieves “calmly” walked in and closed the laptop.

They told the couple to be quiet and covered their faces with a duvet before asking for their mobile phones.

Mr Dutta, who had been in the living room, was then dragged into the bedroom and the three of them sat in silence while the three- bedroom flat was ransacked. One member of the gang stayed with them the whole time.

Miss Macartney said: “It lasted about 30 minutes but it felt like a lot longer. I was in complete and utter shock. I didn’t say anything, I was more concerned that they didn’t want us to get a good look at them. They turned all the rooms upside down looking for money and they took every penny that was in the place. They seemed like professionals.”

Miss Macartney said she didn’t see any weapons and the men didn’t threaten them. They spoke with London accents.

“They said to us, ‘do as you’re told and no one will get hurt. You’ve seen what happens in the movies’,” she said. “When I started to panic a bit one of them just said, ‘calm down, no one’s going to get hurt’.”

The gang left by the back garden that leads into Stuart Close via a wooded area. Footprints were left in the snow and Miss Macartney believes a car may have been waiting for them.

The three victims had been locked in the bedroom but they managed to force the door open and called the police from their office phone.

A police forensic team took fingerprints at the scene and the pub opened at 4pm that day.

The victims’ mobile phones were later found in their back garden but the CCTV system’s hard drive was missing. Miss Macartney believes the men stole it to prevent them being identified.

She said security at the pub had been tightened since the raid and the bars covering the bathroom window have been replaced.

Miss Macartney, who has been at the pub for a year after previously working in hotels in London, said: “I do feel secure because I know there’s no way anyone will be able to break in again but it’s still unnerving.

“I would appeal for any information, especially from residents of Stuart Close, because the only way they must have left is through that street.”

Anyone with information should call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number of 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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