"They nearly killed a person"
A security guard was forced to “leap out of the way” after a curry house was targeted in a second ram-raid attack in just six days.
The security guard had been employed to keep a watch on New Royal Balti in Audley, Staffordshire, after a stolen van was reversed into the Indian restaurant on December 28, 2021.
The first ram-raid caused up to £15,000 worth of damage.
In the early hours of January 3, 2022, the security guard had spotted two suspicious vehicles driving up and down Church Street.
Moments later at 2:40 am, a van backed into Audley Fast Food, which is run by the owners of the curry house on the opposite side of the road.
The van deliberately reversed and smashed the takeaway’s glass frontage.
The same vehicle then sped towards the New Royal Balti, re-smashing the window and causing further damage to the building.
A police cordon remained in place outside the restaurants on January 3, 2022.
An employee of the family-owned New Royal Balti, who also run My Gelato next door to Audley Fast Food, has praised the security guard’s bravery.
Forty-nine-year-old Saj Aslan, a chef at the curry house, said:
“We had someone guarding the restaurant and he was almost killed.
“He was staying in front of there and he saw a van going up and down with a car. He found that odd.
“They then reversed into the takeaway before they drove straight into the restaurant again.
“They nearly killed a person, he had to jump out of the way. He said he wasn’t just going to just run away.”
Police are continuing to investigate the first ram-raid, which occurred at 2:10 am when the second incident unfolded in the normally quiet village.
The second ram-raid has left chef Saj and his colleagues to again pick up the pieces as he pledged to keep trading.
He insists the family has no idea why their businesses are being targeted.
Saj said: “Your guess is as good as mine. We will be going to each shop looking for CCTV.
“We’re celebrating the 30th anniversary next month and I am going to make sure we’re open as soon as possible.
“I am showing them that what they have done is not going to affect us.”
Saj also praised the community for rallying around the restaurant at a difficult time.
He added: “I have not met nicer people anywhere and I have travelled all over England.”
The family are now planning to install bollards in front of their building to prevent future attacks.
In regards to the first ram-raid, a Staffordshire Police spokesperson said:
“Officers attended and found a white Mercedes van in collision with business premises.
“The driver of the vehicle was not present at the scene. No injuries were reported.
“Officers are currently reviewing CCTV footage of the area at the time of the collision and urge anyone with information to get in touch.”