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Police probe after man 'smashes up shop' in mask-wearing row in Birchington

A shocked shop owner says a man smashed up her discount store because staff asked his mother-in-law to wear a face-covering.

Carol Adams, who has run Priceless Discount in Birchington for 30 years, says the thug swiped goods off a shelf before pushing a glass cabinet over after storming into the shop.

Priceless Discounts in Station Road in Birchington. Picture: Google Street View
Priceless Discounts in Station Road in Birchington. Picture: Google Street View

Before he left, he allegedly told one of the two shop workers he would "kill her" if she spoke to his mother-in-law again.

Mrs Adams says they insist people wear masks in the shop but if someone is exempt, they ask them to wait outside and staff will bring their shopping out.

They also offer an order and collection service.

"We're very accommodating and we try to help those who are unable to wear a mask, but we have to keep people safe and so we ask that people wear one when they come in," she said.

"We've got very loyal customers and we want to stay open for them, and we don't normally get any trouble."

'I will not tolerate our staff being abused in any way...'

Mrs Adams, who made masks and scrubs during lockdown earlier this year, says on Wednesday there were two female shop workers on duty.

She said: "A woman came in not wearing a mask and one of them went over and said 'excuse me, you have to wear a mask' and she said 'I don't have to wear one' but didn't say why.

"The lady left and about half an hour later this man comes in and put his arm on the shelf and cleared it before pushing over a glass cabinet which smashed on the floor.

"He then said 'don't talk to my mother-in-law again or I'll kill you'.

"Lots of damage was done and my two ladies were scared stiff.

Carol Adams from Priceless Discount
Carol Adams from Priceless Discount

"I will not tolerate our staff being abused in any way. They are just doing their job in a difficult time.

"We do have a mask policy and will continue to do so."

Mrs Adams says the Covid wardens patrolling Birchington were brilliant after the incident and have been ever since.

Police were also called to deal with the incident.

A spokesman said: "Police were called at 2.45pm on Wednesday after a man reportedly damaged items and made a threat towards a member of staff in a shop in Station Road, Birchington.

"The man is described as white, of stocky build, clean shaven, with short, fair hair and was wearing a navy blue hooded top."

An investigation is ongoing and officers urge anyone with information to contact Kent Police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 46/210591/20.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555 111 or using the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.

Read more: All the latest news from Thanet

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