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Vapes stolen from S&J News as balaclava gang target another business in Rochester

Yobs have targeted another high street shop as a wave of businesses are hit by balaclava-clad teens.

S&J News in Rochester had a group come into the shop two days in a row threatening a worker and stealing items including vapes.

The shop owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, said that he had a group of four teens come in on December 10 wearing balaclavas.

After asking them to take them off, he said that one of the boys went to the entrance of the shop and grabbed two elf bar vapes and they all ran out.

He said: "The next day they came back again – this time there were three but I believe two of them were here the day before.

"There was one Caucasian boy shouting for alcohol, which was quite intimidating. One of them was by the door and the other one was near the newspaper stand."

The shop has empty elf bar boxes on display in the window, which he says one of the boys grabbed and ran out with.

The shop owner said one of the boys stole two elf bars
The shop owner said one of the boys stole two elf bars
S&J news in Rochester high street. Picture: Google Maps
S&J news in Rochester high street. Picture: Google Maps

After getting the gang outside, staff from another shop nearby called the police as they knew they'd had trouble the previous day and a member of the public also called 999.

He added: "Before the police showed up, the boys threw a can of drink at me which bounced off and then they threw it at the window.

"They also picked up a chair from the herbalist shop opposite and tried to throw it at me."

He also said that one of the boys started threatening him, as well as a member of the public.

"I've spoken to Aldi in Strood and they have said that they do carry knives," he said. "I went over to B&M in Strood where they went as well.

A group of boys went into S&J news wearing balaclavas
A group of boys went into S&J news wearing balaclavas

"I don't want to be in the shop alone anymore – I have got extra staff in but I can't afford to pay them, it's tough right now.

"The police only took one day of CCTV footage, and now they've left it too long because it gets overridden after a certain amount of time."

Police have confirmed that they were called on December 10 at 2.31pm, and have said that inquires are ongoing to identify those involved in the incident.

This comes after a vape shop worker was left shaken and dazed after battling a gang of teenagers as they forced their way into a vape shop in Strood on the same Saturday, shortly after the incident in Rochester.

A group wearing hoods and dark clothing attempted to force their way into TJ's E-cigarette shop in Strood High Street.

A police spokesman said: "Officers are aware of concerns from local businesses in relation to ongoing anti-social behaviour in the area and officers are continuing to make inquiries to identify those responsible."

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