A GANG of teenagers raided a Basildon town centre shop, rampaging through the store and loading bags with more than £1,000 worth of stock.

Witnesses described seeing a group of roughly 20 charge into JD Sports, in Town Square, and remove clothes and trainers before fleeing.

It is understood staff were assaulted by the group, while a large police presence, including about seven police cars, was spotted shortly after at Basildon train station as officers tracked down a group believed to be connected to the raid.

Police confirmed more than £1,000 worth of stock was stolen from the sports shop.

Ten teenagers from various parts of London and Hertfordshire were detained at the station.

They were all arrested on suspicion of theft and assault, and have been released pending further investigation.

A security guard who works in the area witnessed one bystander being pushed to the floor.

He said: “I saw about 20 young blokes coming from Basildon train station – they all had a bag on them and they all just walked into JD Sports, filled their bags and just walked out.

“A lady was knocked over to the floor when she tried to grab something off them.

“I’m a security guard and have never seen anything like it.

“They shut the shop and police were there and I think a load of police officers have stopped about half of them at the train station.”

A passerby added: “I had never seen so many police cars in one street, so I thought it must have been something quite serious.

“I am not surprised at all, that is a shocking incident.

“Well done for police for stopping them at the station.”

Essex Police are urging any witnesses to come forward to help the investigation.

A force spokesman said: “We were called to reports of a disturbance at JD Sports in Town Square, Basildon, just after 3.30pm on December 31.

“A group of teenagers had allegedly entered the store, assaulted several members of staff, and left with an estimated four-figure sum of stock without paying.

“Ten teenagers, from various parts of London and Hertfordshire, were later detained at Basildon train station.

“They were all arrested on suspicion of theft and assault.

“They have since been released pending further investigation.

“Anyone with information is asked to call Basildon police station on 101 quoting incident number 664 of 31/12.” Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”