An 11-year-old boy has made a heartbreaking plea to armed robbers who held a gun to his head during a raid on his family home.
The violent gang stormed the home in Walsall at midday on Wednesday, threatening the boy and his grandparents, aged 70, 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 which happened shortly after 12.30pm at a house in Athlone Road, Park Hall.
The boy's uncle, 36, who said he was also held at gunpoint when he later arrived at the home, said The independent of his nephew's heartbreaking plea: “They first threatened my dad saying, ‘We will shoot your grandson.' Then he said, “Don't do it!” So they said, “We'll shoot you then.” And the boy said, “Please don't shoot my grandfather.”
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 CCTV camera.
“The next thing you know, five or six kids came into the house and started terrorizing my parents and had a gun to my nephew's head,” she said, adding that the boy had come home from school because he was feeling unwell. “They said they wanted all the money, gold, jewels in the house or they would blow my nephew's brains out. They told my parents that they will put a bullet in the child's head.”
When the uncle, who lives near Walsall, arrived home to visit his parents, he said the men came out of the house and “surrounded” him. “They pointed a gun at my chest and then back and said, ‘If you want to see your parents alive, come in quietly.'
Once inside, she said she saw black wires strewn across the floor and feared the group was planning to tie up the family. He stopped in the hallway and asked, “What do you want?”
The robbers made off with jewellery, including a Rolex watch and a diamond ring, cash and two sets of car keys – although they were unable to start the vehicles because both required a code. “Then they panicked and ran off in all different directions on foot,” the uncle said.
The moment the gang fled was also captured on the family's home CCTV. Police said they were aware of the video, which has been circulating on social media, and shows “some men trying to steal a Range Rover from the car before running away”.
The harrowing ordeal has left the boy's uncle feeling anger, despair and fear for his nephew and his parents, who remain “distraught”. Family members have had to stay with the retirees almost continuously since the raid, he said.
The uncle said he was “very confident” the perpetrators would be caught and the family offered a £5,000 reward to anyone with information leading to their arrest.
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 is a horrific crime that has affected many people. We get a lot of support, which makes it a lot easier to deal with. We face.”
West Midlands Police said: “We are in the early stages of our investigation and would urge people who may have information to contact us via Live Chat on our website or by calling 101 quoting crime reference number 20/822417/23.” .