Brave shopworkers were sprayed with a noxious substance when they gave chase to a shoplifter in the latest ‘acid’ attack in London.
The shocking incident happened on busy Westbourne Grove in leafy Bayswater, west London, in front of horrified lunchtime shoppers.
Police say they were called just after 2pm today (TUES) to reports of a noxious substance being sprayed.
Local residents said two members of staff at the Tool Lodge store were attacked after challenging the suspected thief.
The manager of a property letting company next door said the two men attacked are in their 50’s and 60’s and were originally from Iraq.
The suspect is still at large.
He said: “I didn’t see anything, but I heard what happened.
“I think the two men that work there were the ones that were attacked and maybe one person who happened to be outside at the time.”
He added: “I’ve never heard of anything like this happening here before – it’s a nice area.”
The Tool Lodge store was closed just after 4pm today. There was no sign of police or a cordon and the shop lights had been turned off.
There did not seem to be any obvious signs of a corrosive substance.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Police were called at 2.09pm to reports of a noxious substance being sprayed.
“Staff at a shop in Westbourne Grove, near the junction with Garway Road, had apparently challenged a suspected shoplifter.
“The man had then sprayed the staff, with what police suspect to be, a noxious irritant.
“Officers attended along with the London Ambulance Service and the London Fire Brigade.
“Three men were treated for the effects of the substance, one man has been taken to a central London hospital.”
He added: “At this early stage his injuries are not thought to be life threatening or changing.
“Others affected have been treated at the scene.”
He said no arrests have been made and enquiries continue.