Published: 10:34, 15 December 2019
| Updated: 10:35, 15 December 2019
Two girls aged 13 and 14 were arrested after a Poundland store was placed in lockdown, it has emerged.
Eyewitnesses said the manager of the shop closed its doors when a pair of teenagers punched and hurled items at staff after they were suspected of attempting to steal an advent calendar, worth 50p.
An onlooker said: "One shocked mum shielded her young children's eyes and tried to leave the store in a hurry.
"The manager ordered time and closed the doors of the busy store. Poundland has been placed in total lockdown."
Pictures shared with KentOnline show a shop security worker, wearing a Santa hat, pinning a person to the floor and the store in disarray.
A Poundland spokesman confirmed staff members had to lock the doors for a short period of time as they waited for police to arrive.
They added: "Two suspected shoplifters caused a disturbance on Saturday afternoon and because of their aggression when confronted, out of an abundance of caution, our store manager temporarily locked the doors while waiting for the police.
"It's now in the police's hands and we are helping them deal with the matter.
"The safety of colleagues and customers is always our immediate priority."
Police arrested two girls from Ramsgate, aged 13 and 14, on suspicion of theft, criminal damage and assault.
A spokesman for the force has confirmed they have been released on bail until February 23.
More by this authorJack Dyson