Frenzied scenes at Sainsbury's in Preston as undercover police swoop on wanted man inside Deepdale supermarket

Shoppers were caught up in frantic scenes at Sainsbury’s in Deepdale today (Tuesday, May 3) when undercover police swooped on the supermarket and arrested a wanted man.

By Matthew Calderbank
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 3:42 pm
Updated Wednesday, 4th May 2022, 1:37 pm

A frenzy broke out in the aisles when a group of men – who turned out to be undercover police – burst into the supermarket yelling “get down! get down on the ground!”, with some fearing an armed robbery was taking place.

“Honestly, my brain immediately thought we were getting caught up in an armed robbery or something,” said Adele Brindle, who witnessed what she described as “chaos” in the supermarket.

“No-one shouted 'police' that I could hear. Just loads of commotion and 'get on the ground!'

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Undercover police arrested and tasered a man inside the Sainsbury's store in Deepdale this afternoon (Tuesday, May 3)

"When I looked down the aisle I saw a pile of bodies on the floor, pinning someone down. It was chaos.”

The undercover sting took place near the entrance at around 1.20pm, shocking shoppers who watched as around 10 officers tackled the suspect to the ground.

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Fearing for people’s safety, staff at the Specsavers even locked the doors to the unit to protect themselves and their customers until the commotion was over.

“I heard “get down!” and loads of men shouting very loud and they locked me and my mum in Specsavers,” said another shopper.

“We didn’t expect undercover police to not shout ‘police’ first … I thought it was being robbed but turns out some lad was tasered. Obviously an undercover operation. There was loads of officers and not a single uniform or police car in sight.”

The frenzied scenes left some customers shaken, with one woman left wondering why officers didn’t make it clear that they were police.

“It was all a bit much today,” she said.

"Why didn’t they just shout ‘police’ instead of “get down! get down!”?

"I thought it was being robbed. They locked me and my mum in with this poor optician who didn’t know what was going on and we couldn’t see anyone else.

"No wonder everyone got on the floor, it was extremely loud. But just glad everyone was OK in the end.”

"Glad it wasn’t just me,” said another. “I was picturing men with guns and all sorts!”

Lancashire Police and Sainsbury’s were approached for comment.