Police catch up with ‘shoe looting’ mum and seize empty laptop boxes
The mother who was caught on camera trying on trainers she had apparently just looted from a sports shop has been arrested.
The image of Shereka Leigh, 22, calmly inspecting and then brazenly trying on footwear in broad daylight epitomised the lawlessness which allowed thousands of stores across the capital to be looted in the aftermath of the riots.
On Wednesday The Daily Telegraph revealed the woman to be Miss Leigh, a mother of one from Tottenham.
On Thursday Scotland Yard detectives swooped, arresting her in an early morning raid at her home just 500 yards from Tottenham Hale retail park, where she is alleged to have stolen from.
Officers broke down the door of her flat, which sits above an electrical goods shop, and later led her out in handcuffs. She tried to protect her identity wearing a hat and dark shades, with a scarf over her face. She was held on suspicion of burglary.
Inside the flat they discovered she had a copy of the article from Wednesday’s Daily Telegraph which revealed her identity. Detectives also found a shopping trolley, like the one she is pictured with in the looting footage.
They also seized a framed photograph of her in a purple dress. The same picture is posted on her Facebook profile and helped lead to her identification.
Officers also took empty laptop boxes, shoe boxes and a box of hair straighteners which they found in a storage bin by the side of her flat. It is understood detectives have linked some of the items to goods looted from shops on the retail estate.
And they seized the clothes she was wearing on the day she was pictured apparently looting. Her four-year-old son, Kevantae, had to be looked after by a friend while her mother was taken to a police station.
Miss Leigh was with a group of friends who are thought to have looted thousands of pounds of goods from the retail park last Sunday morning. Among the stores she is said to have targeted is JD Sports.
Her mother has said she is ashamed of her daughter’s alleged actions.
Navlet Robinson, 42, said: “The first I knew of it was when I switched on the television and saw her trying on the shoes. I couldn’t believe it, but lots of people started to ring me and say that’s Shereka on the news.
“We fell out earlier this year and have not spoken since May. She can be a bad person and she causes me trouble so I don’t want to have anything to do with her. She can be aggressive and we no longer speak.
“All I care about is my little four-year-old grandson, Kevantae, but I haven’t seen him for a while, only passing in the street when he gets excited to see me.”
She added: “It makes me sad when I see what is happening in London. People have worked hard to build up their businesses and make a better life for themselves, but then they are having them destroyed by looters and people burning them down.”
Miss Leigh was born in Newham, but has spent most of her life in Tottenham, growing up in the streets around where this week’s disorder first began.
She became pregnant at 17 and was given a flat by Haringey Council. She later moved to a top floor two-bedroom property yards from Tottenham High Road, the scene of much of the weekend violence and destruction.
Neighbours in the block, from where she was recently evicted, said she was a troublemaker who was always having parties and creating lots of noise.