Children sprayed in face with ‘unknown substance’ in terrifying Co-op robbery

Six people including two children were sprayed in the face with an unknown substance during a terrifying robbery at a Co-op supermarket today.

Emergency services dashed to the shop in Northfield, Birmingham, at around 2.30pm after reports of the attack.

The victims were treated for non-serious injuries at the scene as they'd struggled breathing.

Horrified witnesses told Birmingham Live they often see disruptive behaviour at the shop.

"Shoplifting is rife at this store, I see it happening regularly. Sometimes the managers try and challenge them, but then they start being abusive and trying to attack them," Chris Bishop, who lives nearby, said.

"I challenge them when I see them but they just tell me it’s 'nothing to do with me'. They really need more security in there."

The supermarket, which is in a built-up residential area, had to shut for a short time while the police dealt with the incident.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "Police are investigating an attack in which a substance was thrown at two people during an attempted robbery at the Co-op on West Heath Road, Birmingham at around 2:30pm this afternoon (Wednesday 4 September).

"The staff workers were sprayed with a substance which is believed to be non-corrosive, after they challenged two people who were attempting to steal items from the store.

"They were treated by paramedics at the scene but fortunately are not seriously injured.

"Anyone who saw anything or who may have information is urged to contact police via Live Chat at  www.west-midlands.pnn.police.uk  between 8am and midnight or call 101 anytime. Please quote log number 1366 of 4 September."

Paramedics treated the victims who quickly became stable.

A spokesman for West Midlands Ambulance Service said: "We were called to the Co-op in West Heath Road, Northfield, at 2..24pm on Wednesday.


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