An 11-year-old boy made a heartbreaking plea to armed robbers who held a gun to his head during a raid on his family’s home.
The violent gang stormed the house in Walsall in broad daylight on Wednesday, threatening the boy and his grandparents, aged in their 70s, as the 11-year-old begged the men, “Please, don’t shoot my grandad.”
West Midlands Police confirmed officers were investigating an “aggravated robbery” by an armed group that happened shortly after 12.30pm at a home on Athlone Road, Park Hall.
The boy’s uncle, 36, who said he was also held at gunpoint when he later arrived at the house, told The Independent of his nephew’s heartbreaking plea: “They first threatened my dad by saying, ‘We’re going to shoot your grandson’. Then he said, ‘Don’t!’ So they said, ‘We’re going to shoot you then.’ And the boy said, ‘Please don’t shoot my grandad.’”
The robbers forced their way into the house after one pretended to be a delivery driver, the 36-year-old said, with the raid captured on the family’s home CCTV camera.
“Next thing you know, five or six guys walked into the house and started terrorising my parents, and they had a gun to my nephew’s head,” he said, adding that the boy had been home from school because he was feeling unwell. “They said they wanted all the money, gold, jewellery in the house or they would be blowing my nephew’s brains out. They told my parents they would put a bullet in the kid’s head.”
When the uncle, who lives nearby in Walsall, arrived at the house to visit his parents, he said the men came out of the house and “surrounded” him. “They pointed a gun to my chest then back and said, ‘If you want to see your parents alive, then quietly come inside.’”
Upon entering, he said he saw black cable ties littered on the floor and feared the group was planning to tie the family up. He stopped in the hallway and asked, “What do you want?”
The robbers made off with jewellery, including a Rolex watch and diamond ring, cash, and two sets of car keys – although they failed to get the vehicles to start because both required a code. “Then they panicked and made off in all different directions by foot,” said the uncle.
The moment the gang fled was also caught on the family’s home CCTV. Police said they were aware of the footage, which has been circulating on social media and shows “a number of men trying to steal a Range Rover from the drive before running off”.
The harrowing ordeal left the boy’s uncle feeling angry, hopeless, and fearing for his nephew and parents, who remain “shaken up”. Family members have had to stay with the pensioners almost constantly since the raid, he said.
The uncle said he was “very confident” the offenders would be caught, and the family was offering a £5,000 reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to their capture.
He added that the overwhelming support the family has received from the local and national community has been a source of strength and comfort.
“The local community has come together,” he said. “It’s a horrific crime that has affected a lot of people. We’ve been getting loads of support, which is making it a lot easier to deal with. We’re coping.”
West Midlands Police said: “We are in the early stages of our enquiry and would urge people who may have information to please contact us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101 quoting crime investigation number 20/822417/23.”