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It was 'shopping spree', say London looters

Four teenagers who looted goods from various shops during the days and nights of mayhem in London today called it a "shopping spree".

world Updated: Aug 12, 2011 21:37 IST
London looters,London,Thames

As commentators debate at length over the reasons behind the unrest, four teenagers who looted goods from various shops during the days and nights of mayhem in London, audaciously called it a "shopping spree" on Friday.

The police have arrested over 1,000 people for the riots, but Sky News spoke to four teenagers who covered their faces while speaking on camera, and admitted to looting electronic and other goods from shops.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the teenagers aged 16 or 17 said their chances of not being arrested were 'pretty good'. They were shown speaking before cameras on the bank of the Thames in London.

They said they stole iPads, Blackberry tablets, games consoles, laptops, clothes, trainers and even nappies and clothes for their children.

They admitted looting in Lewisham, Catford, Bromley and Clapham.

They claim they used a transit van to move between different boroughs and grabbed so many different items that the van was filled several times over and emptied between their sprees, Sky News reported.

They said they were not part of an organised gang but just disillusioned teenagers who cannot find work. They said inequality in British society was part of the problem.

One of them said he stopped in Clapham Junction solely to target a store where he had been refused work.

He said: "It was Comet - they didn't reply to me emailing my CV, or going up there so this was payback man, payback."

Another teenager said: "Everything we wanted we could get. I couldn't believe the van could hold so much stuff."

They said they hoarded the looted goods at the homes of friends and said they had already sold them on the black market. One of them said he got 400 pounds for a Blackberry tablet on the Gumtree website.

Another, wearing a pair of stolen Nike trainers, said: "Right now it looks like there isn't a future for young people, that's how I see it. We are not doing it for the fun of it, we are doing it for money to survive."

First Published: Aug 12, 2011 20:41 IST