Luton shop break-in leads to evacuation of nearby residents as police hunt offenders carrying 'Ikea bags'

The break-in happened in the early hours of Thursday morning

Friday, 17th December 2021, 2:09 pm

Police are investigating a break-in at a Luton shop which resulted in nearby residents being evacuated from their homes in the early hours of yesterday morning (Thursday).

Officers were called to the shop in Abbotswood Road at around 4.30am. Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service were also called to the incident, as the smoke cloak [a security measure where a premises is filled with a cloud of fog to impede intruders] had been activated during the burglary.

Residents were evacuated as a precaution due to smoke at the address, but the smoke was linked to the intruder alert system, and not a fire at the building.

The police and fire service were called to the incident

A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Police said: "Officers attended but the offenders had fled the scene and despite searching the area and speaking to people in the vicinity there was no trace of those responsible.

"It is believed two men were wearing masks and carrying Ikea bags. If anyone has any information or noticed any suspicious behaviour please contact police quoting reference 45 of 16 December.

"Residents from neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution due to smoke at the address, however they were quickly allowed back into their homes after it was established the smoke was linked to the intruder alarm system.

"Anyone with information can report online at or via 101."

Photo of the scene taken from a neighbouring property

A spokesperson for Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue said: "The smoke cloak had been activated following burglary. A smoke cloak is a security fog system and within seconds of a break-in the protected area is filled with an impenetrable cloud of fog.

"The fire service cleared the scene of smoke and left the premises in the hands of the owners."