Published: 00:00, 06 September 2007
| Updated: 09:30, 06 September 2007
NIGHT workers at a Morrisons store in Kent disturbed a raid by masked men that led to a 150mph police car chase to London.
Seven members of staff were stacking shelves in the store in Beach Street, Herne Bay, at about 2.30am on Tuesday when they heard a crash at the front entrance.
Seconds later the alarm went off and the workers came upon four men in balaclavas attempting to break open the metal shutters of the cigarette counter.
The raiders threw a charity collection box at the supermarket staff before making their escape in a BMW.
Police arrived on the scene within five minutes. At the same time traffic patrols were positioned at checkpoints along main routes across the district.
At 3am one of the patrols spotted the getaway car on the London-bound carriageway of the M2. Within minutes they were on the tail of the BMW at speeds touching 150mph as they approached Gravesend.
A police helicopter from Surrey was scrambled and a net of Metropolitan Police cars formed on the approach to London.
But it was not enough to snare the raiders.
The police tail gave way in the boroughs around the Thames Gateway. And at 3.20am the BMW was found abandoned in Belvedere.
Kent Police spokesman Jo Robertson said: “We are leading the investigation but are liaising with the Metropolitan Police who are carrying out forensic tests on the BMW.”
CCTV images captured while the raiders were at the store have been handed over to the police.