Coventry & Warwickshire

Looting after bus crashes into Coventry pawnbrokers

Looters rushed to grab jewellery after a bus crashed into a pawnbrokers in Coventry, according to eyewitnesses.

Three people were hurt when the single-decker bus smashed into the shop in Trinity Street just before 15:00 GMT.

Bus passenger Zoe Frost said looting began immediately and she was pushed aside as people went for the valuables.

"They wanted to get the gold and jewellery out of the shop window and where it had fallen on to the ground," she said.

Insp Yvonne Bruton, from West Midlands Police, said: "We are looking into reports that a number of people stole items of jewellery from the shop, with some apparently forcing onlookers out of the way to get to the items.

"This group of individuals had no regard for the welfare of those caught up in the incident and it appears simply sought to make their own ill-gotten gains."

Police said they would be looking at CCTV footage.

Ms Frost said: "One gentleman shoved me out the way... not in the rush to help the people which you'd think would be their reaction.

"The man who pushed me out of the way, I saw him reach into the window, actually lean right in past the bus and the glass and take one of the trays that they had on display in the window.

"I could see there were some rings, chains and watches that had gone under the bus and around it. One girl crawled under the bus to get a handful of stuff."

A spokesperson for Albemarle Bond, which runs the shop, said: "We are doing everything we can to assist with the investigation surrounding the incident and we are very proud of how our staff are dealing with a difficult situation."

Chest pains

The company said the store is now closed due to health and safety concerns.

The bus driver was taken to hospital while two other people were treated at the scene. Emergency staff said it was a miracle more people were not injured.

Image caption The driver of the bus was taken to hospital

The bus has been towed away and the road reopened.

One of the passengers on the bus, Jake Mitchell, said the vehicle was in a collision with a taxi before crashing into the shop.

"[It] carried on going into the pawnbrokers and just didn't seem to stop.

"There was a door at the back that I opened and then as soon as I got out I starting helping others out."

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: "The male driver of the bus had chest pains and was taken to University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire for further assessment and treatment.

"Two women passengers from the taxi were assessed by ambulance crews and discharged at the scene."

A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said officers remained open-minded as to the cause of the accident.

The bus was the X17 service operated by Stagecoach Midlands between Coventry and Warwick.

Adam Rideout, spokesperson for the bus company, said: "Our first thoughts are for the people injured in this incident.

"Safety is our priority and we will obviously be helping the police with their investigations in any way we can."

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