Man in court and two quizzed over spate of knifepoint and firearms offences
PUBLISHED: 13:19 13 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:19 13 June 2019
A man has appeared in court and two other people are continuing to be questioned following two knifepoint carjackings and a series of other offences in Norwich and South Norfolk.
Rashal Alam, 34, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Wednesday (June 12) after being charged with 10 offences.
It follows a string of crimes over the past few days in Norwich and South Norfolk, which included the knifepoint carjacking of a woman's black Mini Cooper in Norwich and the discharge of a firearm in Stoke Holy Cross.
Alam, of Bull Close Road, Norwich, appeared in court wearing a blue jumper and spoke only to confirm his details during the short hearing.
He has been charged with:
- Robbery, after a woman was robbed of a Mini Cooper in Guernsey Road, Norwich, on Monday, June 10
- Possession of a bladed article. It is alleged he was in possession of a knife in Guernsey Road on Monday, June 10
- Possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. It is alleged he was in possession of a single barrel shotgun in Stoke Holy Cross on Monday, June 10 with intent to cause fear of violence against a man and woman
- Possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life. It is alleged he was in possession of weapon in Stoke Holy Cross on Monday, June 10
- Burglary. It is alleged he burgled a property in Brickle Road, Stoke Holy Cross on Monday, June 10
- Taking a vehicle without consent. It is alleged he stole a VW Passat in Stoke Holy Cross on Monday, June 10
- Attempted burglary at Derby Street, Norwich, on Monday, June 10
- Assaulting a police officer in Norwich on Monday, June 10
- Racially aggravated threatening behaviour in Norwich, Monday, June 10
- Threatening behaviour in Norwich on Monday, June 10
The case was formally sent to Norwich Crown Court on July 10 and Alam was remanded in custody until the next hearing.
There was no application for bail.
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A 68-year-old man from Brickle Road, Stoke Holy Cross, who did not want to be named, described how he had heard some shots, at about 11am on Monday but thought it had been a bird scarer in a nearby field.
He said: "It's normally bang and then about 20 seconds later another bang."
But he said the shots he heard on Monday were "different" and more like "rapid fire".
Meanwhile, a woman from Derby Street, who wanted to remain anonymous, said she became aware of police at a neighbouring property on Derby Street at about midnight on Monday.
She said: "My son was gaming like you do. He noticed all the lights and came to get me."
She said there was up to four police cars with the "lights going" and with officers "looking for something".
She said her son thought he someone being arrested, although she did not see it.
The woman said it was a "little bit worrying" and hoped her neighbour was okay as he was "quite an old boy".
Meanwhile police have arrested two other men in connection with the incidents.
One man, in his 30s, was arrested in Dereham Road at about 7.30pm on Tuesday night (June 11) and another man, also in his 30s, was arrested in the Russell Street area of the city in the early hours of Wednesday morning (June 12).
Those arrests were linked to the carjackings, including of a taxi driver's vehicle in Bull Close Road at 5.30am on Monday (June 10), an attempted robbery at newsagents in Silver Road and the firing of weapons in Wreningham and Stoke Holy Cross.
The first crime happened in Bull Close Road in north Norwich at 5.30am on Monday. Two men armed with a knife approached a Five Stars taxi driver who was parked in the street and ordered him to get out of the car - a blue Skoda Superb.
The robbers then stole the vehicle and picked up a woman nearby. The car was last seen at Norwich International Airport heading out of the city.
Nearly 12 hours later, at about 5pm, the car was returned to near Bull Close Road and later recovered by police.
At around 6pm, a witness said two men and a woman entered Silver Stores, in Silver Road - just around the corner from Bull Close Road - where they pulled a knife on a customer before running away.
At just before 6.30pm, two men forced a woman out of a car at knifepoint in Guernsey Road, close to Tesco in Magdalen Road, before they stole her vehicle - a black Mini Cooper.
Norfolk police said all that was followed by "the discharge of a firearm" at locations in Stoke Holy Cross and Wreningham on Monday.
Police said nobody had been hurt in any of the incidents. They said they had now recovered the stolen Mini Cooper, which was being forensically examined, as was the stolen taxi.
Anyone with any information about any of the crimes should contact Norwich CID on 101 on 10 June 2019. Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.