21 September 2014

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Reporter witnesses armed robbery on his day off

A regional daily reporter witnessed and caught on camera an armed robbery taking place in broad daylight.

David Blackmore, of the Eastern Daily Press, was on his way to pay his car tax in Kings Lynn during his day off on Tuesday when a silver Mercedes parked up on the street.

A gang of men wearing hoods then got out and smashed the window of a local jewellers before stealing goods and making off.

As the men got back in the car the driver put his foot down, heading straight towards David who had to dive for cover as the vehicle sped off.

David managed to get a picture of the incident which appeared on the front page of his paper the following day.

The front page of he Eastern Daily Press on Wednesday

Police are still hunting the gang responsible for the crime, although the vehicle involved has been recovered.

David showed the images on his phone to police officers who arrived on the scene and called the newsdesk who put a call in to the local police press office, which knew nothing of the incident at that stage.

He said:  “It’s one of things that you always get to hear about after it happens, to be walking down the road and seeing it was perfect, instead of speaking to witnesses you know everything because you’ve seen it for yourself.”

David has also written about the incident in a blog post in which he recalls the shocking incident.

He wrote: “In the blink of an eye, a gang of men in white hooded tops raced out of the vehicle and started smashing glass with sledgehammers before stealing items from the shop. For about ten seconds, I was quite literally frozen to the spot as the usually busy shopping street began to empty with people either running away screaming or diving into the closest shop to hide.

“As people continued to brush past me to get away, I noticed a few people were already on their mobile phones and talking to the emergency services.

“The driver of the silver Mercedes then started pumping smoke out of the vehicle to block CCTV footage and shouted at anyone still stood watching the robbery unfold.

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

“After checking my phone to see what pictures I had taken, I walked up to one of the members of staff to give her the registration plate of the silver Mercedes before walking into the Post Office to sort out my road tax and thinking to myself: “Did that really just happen?”

20 Comments

  1. JP, Devon

    The most amazing part of this story is that a journalist got a day off.

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  2. Traffic Chaos

    I actually think this is a poor splash and the picture is rubbish.

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  3. Biter

    Should read: ‘This is the dramatic moment when our reporter caught on camera someone with a dodgy exhaust.’

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  4. redundant hack, lancashire

    I think it’s the best picture of a smoking car in a deserted street that I’ve ever seen. Erm, what was the story about again?

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  5. non hacker

    I hardly think this criticism is fair. The reporter needs congratulating for having the bottle to get out his phone camera instead of just standing there gawping.

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  6. GladImOutOfIt

    Traffic Chaos is being ironic. I hope. Actually, this is precisely the sort of “citizen journalism” that the EDP’s sister papers are trying to use in place of real photographers, and of course it works – occasionally. Fortunately Mr Blackmore didn’t freeze for long and he’s a real journalist, so he knew what to do and quickly.
    It’s what gives good reporters great scoops – luck. Some of us (yes, me) would have left the scene two minutes before the incident or arrived five minutes after it. Sadly, that sort of luck can get them killed, too!

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  7. you can't get quicker than a kwik fit fitter, Deep in the heart of Texas

    Bet half the negative commenting types would need to change into their brown corduroys if they were toes up with something similar.

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  8. House Rules

    On a point of pedantry (and bizarrely having had a very similar talk with a police officer yesterday) if they smashed the window and did not come into contact with staff it is more than likely an “aggravated burglary” rather than an armed robbery (no threats or fear of violence). Yes the staff were probably shocked but a good lawyer would get a robbery charge knocked down with ease.

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  9. Capt. Starlight

    If it had been me I would have very briefly hid, put my red underpants over my trousers and then whooshed out and swooped on the car lifting its drive wheels off the ground so it was going nowhere.
    Then I would have clamped the car doors shut, shouted “you’re going nowhere chummies,” and waited for the police to arrive while I rang my office. But there would have been no one there as the company have made staff cutbacks……

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  10. sb

    Surprised at the criticism. Good work, Mr Blackmore. Don’t forget your roots.

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  11. Pendant's corner

    No Mr Blackmore you weren’t ‘quite literally’ frozen to the spot, you were figuratively frozen to the spot.
    Also, you know you can do your car tax online these days.

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  12. Ian, Kent

    Good grief, the amount of moaning on this site really is something to behold. Fair enough, have a whinge when the latest round of cost cuts are announced but slating a reporter for taking a picture of a breaking news story? Really?
    Also, David did his training on the leafy streets of Dorking, where the nearest you got to hard news was the occasional vandalised hanging basket, so this would have been well out of his comfort zone.

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  13. John Bull

    Well I am surprised. It might not be the best pic, or splash ever. But in a world where many reporters sit in the office rewording, or typing in, dull press releases, here was one out ‘there’, where news happens. Well done. It is a shame, however, that if he’d been on duty, an interesting tale for Kings Lynn would only have been known about through that dull press release.
    Well done to Mr Blackmore.

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  14. Glen

    I’m not surprised that a lot of you whining scrotes have been made redundant. I wouldn’t want to employ you.

    Can’t you just congratulate the man.

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  15. redundanthack, lancashire

    I’m sure no-one is criticising the reporter for having the balls to actually do his job. It’s the use of the pic and headline that made me laugh. This is down to his editor/splash sub. The pic does not show any dramatic moment at all. Please tell me there weren’t any pix of the robbers in action……………..

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  16. voice of reason

    Absolutely agree with the above. The reporter was doing his job and he doesn’t deserve to be criticised for it. The ridiculous front page splash of his utterly dull picture is typical of an office getting over-excited about something that has happened to someone they actually know. After all a reporter finding a news story out of the office and nowhere near the latest pile of press-releases is a fairly rare occurrence these days. But please don’t tell me it’s a story that he bothered to work on his day off!

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  17. Oxfordgas, Oxford

    Great story, well done for getting pix

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  18. GladImOutOfIt

    That pic isn’t as dull or pointless as you lot claim. Mr Blackmore says the robbers pumped smoke out of the car window – “making smoke” in naval terms! – to confuse pursuers. And that’s what’s happening here – it’s not a filthy exhaust or burning rubber. You can see it’s coming out of the window. Considering how little time he had to get his act together. Mr Blackmore is to be congratulated for getting a useable image of any sort!

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  19. Tog

    Would a news ‘tog have got any different picture? Unlikely, unless they happened to be wandering around with their gear. As for a ‘dull’ picture, smoking car, etc, it’s actually a smoke grenade going off, but I doubt the armchair critics would know anything about that because they won’t get that sort of experience from twitter and facebook. Icing on the cake would have been a few masked robbers running about but you can’t always have everything.

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  20. Southbury Road

    All gone quiet from Biter, Redundant Hack and Traffic Chaos…they say smoking exhaust, but picture is of a smoke screen being put down. Quick to lay down the criticism, when they missed the real action in the image! Amateurs

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