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MIRACULOUS ESCAPE AS POLICE CHASE CAR PLOUGHS INTO SHOP.

Byline: ASHLEY PREECE News Reporter

HORRIFIED eyewitnesses have described how an innocent shop worker was just minutes away from being mowed down by an oncoming car.

Two men were arrested after a car ploughed straight into a women's clothes shop on Alum Rock Road in Birmingham.

The drama unfolded at around 10am on yesterday after officers were alerted to a car being driven erratically.

West Midlands Police said that a chase followed and, moments later, the vehicle smashed into the front of H&Y, a family-run business which has been trading in Alum Rock for the past 16 years.

Police confirmed two men, aged 20 and 30, were arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving and failing to stop.

The 30-year-old was also arrested on suspicion of possession of a class A drug. They remain in police custody.

Yusuf Anjum, who works in H&Y, said: "It was a police chase. The car came down Ellesmere Road the wrong way, it's one-way.

"The damage is pretty bad, there was glass everywhere.

"There's stock all over the place and it's freezing in here. The front of the shop is all open. The window's gone.

"Saturdays are our busiest day of the week and my dad had been preparing the shop ready for it to open.

"One of the workers was at the front of the shop just minutes before it happened and, luckily, he walked to the cash register at the back before the impact.

"We've been here for 15-16 years. It's a family-run business and we're all in shock."

Meanwhile, a member of the Alum Rock Community Forum, who was doing his grocery shopping as the car went into the shop, added: "I saw the whole shop front has been damaged by the car.

"The car ended up being halfway into the shop and there was glass all over the floor.

"The displays were scattered all over. The shopkeeper did not know what to make of it.

"There were no injuries sustained to him, thank God.

"He said he wasn't too far from the car and, ten minutes earlier, he was standing where the car was, setting up the shop for the Saturday trade.

"Initially, there was confusion and people were coming in and not sure if there were any injuries.

"The police arrived on the scene quite quickly and brought calm. People were not sure what to make of it." Part of Alum Rock Road, where it meets Ellesmere Road, remained closed off for most of the morning.

Another witness, who spoke just moments after the impact, said: "It's unbelievable. The shop has literally swallowed the car up - that's what it looks like.

"I feel for the shop owners, the car has literally gone straight through the front of the shop.

"Shattered glass is literally everywhere. Police are here but we're waiting to see what caused the crash. It's quite shocking."

Devastating photos show the scale of the damage caused, with mannequins broken, stock scattered around the shop and shattered glass strewn across the pavement and floor.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said: "Two men have been arrested after crashing into a shop.

"Officers on patrol in Birmingham spotted a Peugeot 207 being driven erratically.

"The car failed to stop for police and continued driving dangerously.

"Police temporarily lost sight of the car, and within minutes found the Peugeot crashed into a shop front on Alum Rock Road.

"Two men attempted to flee the scene and, after a short foot chase, were arrested.

"The car, which is believed to be stolen, has been seized for forensic examination."

CAPTION(S):

The scene of devastation after the car crashed
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 20, 2019
Words:612
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