Shropshire man charged over Boots ram raid involving death crash car

A Shropshire man has been charged over a ram raid involving a car which is thought to have later hit and killed a cyclist in the Black Country.

A red Corsa thought to have been used in a ram raid later hit a cyclist and overturned. Photo: SnapperSK
A red Corsa thought to have been used in a ram raid later hit a cyclist and overturned. Photo: SnapperSK

Christopher Talbot, aged 36 and from Bridgnorth, has been charged with burglary over the ram raid which happened in Wolverhampton city centre late on Thursday evening.

A red Vauxhall Corsa smashed into the Boots store in Dudley Street before ramming a police car and fleeing the scene just before midnight.

Just over an hour later the same car is believed to have hit 19-year-old cyclist Florentine Chinanga–Chou in Darlaston - around four miles east of the Boots store that was targeted.

The teenager was pronounced dead at the scene.

Talbot, of Orchard Road, Eardington, has only been charged in relation to the burglary and is not alleged to have been involved in the crash.

Boots in Dudley Street, Wolverhampton, was boarded up after the ram raid

Four other people arrested in relation to the two incidents have now been released - three on bail and one with no further action.

Meanwhile the crash victim's family have described their devastation after the 19-year-old was "ripped" from them while they slept.

"Florentine was such a gentle and soft spoken young man who often spoke of his plans for his future, a future which has been stolen in the cruelest of manner," his family said in a statement.

"He was hardworking and deeply caring not only towards his family but to all who came in contact with him. He loved listening to music and playing with his siblings.

"We cannot even begin to comprehend how he was literally ripped from our family while we slept. We will love and miss him deeply, with every passing moment.

"He has left a lasting impression in our hearts and lives."

Florentine Chinanga–Chou was aged 19 when he was killed

Florentine was hit by a red Corsa on Midland Road in Darlaston just after 1am, around 75 minutes after officers on patrol spotted the ram raid unfolding.

One of the burglary gang was arrested at the scene but the other suspects fled.

Another police car was then in the Darlaston area when Florentine was hit, but officers are not thought to have been chasing the Corsa when the crash happened.

Officers from the police car gave the youngster CPR but nothing could be done to save him.

A woman, thought to have been a passenger in the Corsa, was treated by paramedics and taken to hospital as other people from the car left the scene.

The damaged Corsa. Photo: SnapperSK

She was arrested and three more suspects - two women and one man - were later detained elsewhere in the Walsall area.

All four have since been released, with three of them bailed and one released with no further action.

A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "Christopher Talbot has been charged with burglary and appeared before Wolverhampton Magistrates Court via a virtual hearing this morning.

"The 36-year-old was remanded in custody for a next appearance on Friday, December 4.

"A 39-year-old woman who was arrested on suspicion of burglary and death by dangerous driving has been released on bail while enquiries continue.

"As have a 33-year-old woman and 21-year-old man who were arrested on suspicion of burglary.

"A 21-year-old woman detained on suspicion of burglary and death by dangerous driving has been released with no further action."

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