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Reaction: King’s Lynn robbery sentencing

13:15 09 November 2012

Police arrive at Francis Wain following the raid in January

Police arrive at Francis Wain following the raid in January

Archant

The sentencing of four men over the smash and grab raid at a King’s Lynn jewellers yesterday brought back dramatic memories for three people who witnessed the robbery.

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Elliott Kempton was working as assistant manager at the 3G store opposite the Francis Wain jewellery shop when he saw the silver Mercedes van pull up outside.

He said: “We were expecting an important visitor to our store so I was busy getting the shop ready and was putting out a board at the front of the shop when this van came speeding down Norfolk Street.

“I thought that was unusual because there are no cars allowed and I actually thought there was a problem with the vehicle or it had crashed because there was smoke coming out of it.

“Then the men jumped out and it was all happening in front of my eyes. It was over very quickly but when I think back to it now, I remember it all so vividly. It was a surreal experience.”

EDP reporter David Blackmore was walking along Norfolk Street when the raid happened.

“It was an extraordinary couple of minutes. One minute Norfolk Street was packed, the next minute people were running, screaming and diving into shops and then moments later everything returned to normal.

“I was absolutely stunned after it happened and just looked around in utter disbelief as people slowly emerged from the shops they had raced into moments earlier.”

“Thinking back to the morning now, I know the raid only took a matter of moments but in my mind everything has now slowed down and it feels like it went on for more than an hour.”

A Big Issue seller, who was working opposite the jewellers, said he hoped the sentencing would bring a bit of closure to the shop staff.

The man, who only gave his name as Dane, said he urged people to run away as the robbery unfolded because he didn’t know if the raiders had a gun.

He added: “The thought crossed my mind to jump in but my mate told me not to so I rang the police.

“It must have been terrifying for the girls in the shop and I just hope they are not still too shaken by it all.”

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