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Sikh Owner Killed In Cash And Carry Robbery


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A wealthy businessman was killed when he was pushed into the path of a lorry by a gang of armed robbers.

Shammi Atwal, 45, was shoved into the road as he struggled with up to ten masked raiders armed with sledgehammers and metal bars.

The father-of-two died from catastrophic injuries just yards from his wife who had locked herself inside their drinks wholesale company.

Scotland Yard launched a murder inquiry as detectives paid tribute to Mr Atwal’s bravery in trying to defend his wife and business.

Speaking at the £750,000 family home in Chigwell, Essex, last night, cousin Surjit Atwal, 50, said they had suffered a ‘huge loss’.

He said Mr Atwal’s wife Deepa, 37, who suffered minor injuries in the raid, has been left ‘devastated’.

‘What we understand has happened is a few people tried to come in and tried to rob the place.

‘He tried to stop them and in the scuffle he was pushed under the lorry,’ he added.

‘His wife is obviously devastated. She was there at the time. She was trying to lock the doors and keep them out so does not know what happened after they left the building.

‘It is a huge shock. You go to work and try to earn some money for your family and you do not expect something like this to happen.’

The robbery took place at Mr Atwal’s company, Glenn & Co, a supplier to the hospitality industry, in Barking, Essex, on Monday.

Witnesses said the men parked cars nearby before rushing inside.

They saw Mr Atwal pursue the men as they ran out of the store carrying bags before a scuffle took place in the street.

It was at this point, police believe, that the businessman was pushed into the path of a passing HGV which ran him over, killing him instantly.

The company is based on an industrial estate occupied mainly by warehousing companies, car garages, delivery firms and other cash and carry businesses.

Inside job: Officers take a look around the interior of the cash and carry store after up to 10 armed raiders broke in with bars and a sledgehammer

Popular: Mr Atwal was a popular member of both traders and Sikh communities. One colleague is seen leaving flowers at the scene, left while police maintained a visible presence throughout the day, right

Gathering evidence: A police officer from the Met's Homicide and Major Crime Command holds an evidence bag which appears to contain a bat

On the trail: Officers want to track down the gang of white men whose botched raid on the warehouse led to the Mr Atwal's death

Serdar Gurghur, 36, a chef at a nearby café, said customers saw at least four men get out of a black BMW before pulling on masks and running to the cash and carry.

It is thought the father-of-two was pushed in front of the lorry by a member of the fleeing gang

He said: ‘They obviously knew where they wanted to go. Then five minutes later they ran back past holding bags and sledgehammers.

‘We all knew Mr Atwal well. He would come here often, sometimes with his young daughter.

‘He was a good man, a hard-working man.’

Mr Atwal, who had a daughter, four, and son, seven, had run the drinks firm for almost a decade.

The latest company accounts show it is worth more than £1million.

Surjit Atwal said the family had been working in Britain for ‘many years’ after emigrating from the Punjab, India.

Paying tribute to his cousin, he added: ‘He was a family man. He was hard-working and very much loved within the community. It is such a sad loss that someone so young was taken away from us like that.’

Mr Atwal’s uncle Tarsem Singh, 65, said: ‘He worked very, very hard and the rest of the time was spent with his family or at the Sikh temple.’

Detective Chief Inspector Neale Baldock, who is leading the murder inquiry, branded the attack an ‘appalling and cowardly crime’.

He said: ‘This was a man trying to stop thieves robbing his business.

‘He acted bravely in defence of his wife and managed to chase the robbers from his premises only for him to be pushed in front of a moving lorry.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2461071/Shammi-Atwal-pushed-lorry-killed-tried-stand-gang-robbing-shop.html

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  • 3 weeks later...

Fourth man arrested over shopkeeper

A fourth man arrested in connection with the death of a shopkeeper has been bailed.

The 25 year old was held on October 23 on suspicion of murder and robbery in connection with the death of father of two Shammi Atwal of Chigwell.


Farhan Sheikh, 38 of Thornhill Gardens, Barking, was charged on October 23 with conspiracy to rob, however no new court date has been released.

Vidmantas Gonskoves, 26 of Grange Road, Plaistow and Aurimas Diliunas, 27 of Rosslyn Road, Barking appeared at Redbridge Magistrates Court on the 21st charged with manslaughter and robbery.

Both were remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on November the 4th.

From the Wanstead and Woodford Guardian - Oct 31st

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