A pensioner has described the moment mothers, babies and other customers had to be locked in the back of a supermarket as a group of men ransacked the store.

John Henderson, 72, was out shopping at Asda's Mitcham store last Thursday (June 13) when before he knew it, the store was being overrun with the criminals.

"They were fairly well dressed men, not boys and their aim was to steal alcohol - a lot of it," Mr Henderson told the Wimbledon Times.

"We felt absolute fear really.

"At lunch time many customers were elderly, however there were mums and babies too that day.

"We were all were told to go to the back of the store which we instinctively did anyway. The shutting of the doors and being locked in was fairly scary too, but this was for the customer’s safety."

"The men ran out throwing bottles and thing. At least one member of staff was hurt and the security guards locked the doors to ensure they didn’t return."

A spokesman for the Met said police were called at 1.48pm to the bond Road supermarket.

"Three suspects entered the store and attempted to shoplift some alcohol," he added.

"When they were challenged by staff members, the suspects became physically aggressive and started throwing bottles.

"They then got in a car and made-off towards the town centre.

"It is not believed anyone was injured."

An engineer for Thames Water, Mr Henderson has lived in Merton for 40 years with his wife Jackie and said it was sad to see what a lack of police numbers has done to the area.

"Apparently there was an incident the week before when men arrived in a car and tore in to steal," he added.

"We care about this area. It is just awful to see what it has become and the lack of police has caused so many problems and tragedies."

Police added that no arrests have been made and that inquiries are ongoing.