Armed police swooped on a family’s car wash business on Monday following a tip-off that a handgun was on the premises.
Two officers from the Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) – who were carrying firearms – arrived shortly after 1pm and took away a lightweight, plastic toy gun belonging to nine-year-old Eduardo Legavicius.
The toy was part of a treasured ‘police set’ that included a badge and handcuffs – and was a gift from Eduardo’s grandma, who bought it for £10 from B&M Bargains in Spalding.
Shocked car wash employee Tomas Zitinevicius phoned his boss, Marius Legavicius (32), moments after the police swoop and Marius made his way to the business just off the A16 in Moulton Chapel Road, Moulton Chapel.
Marius and his partner, Eduardo’s mum Ernesta Tamutyte (29), say they understand that a mistake was made when the toy was wrongly identified as a handgun, but they are left wondering why police took away an item that was so obviously a toy when picked up – because it was lightweight and made of plastic – and why police haven’t telephoned them to explain what happened.
Ernesta said: “When you press (the trigger) it sounds like click, click, click.”
Any incident which involves a report of firearms is taken very seriously, with the safety of the public and officers of foremost consideration.Police spokesman
As well as the upset caused to Eduardo, who wants his toy gun back, the couple are also unhappy that CCTV footage shows there were customers present at their Mr Shine Car Wash and fear they may have been worried by what they saw.
Yesterday (Wednesday) the family were still waiting to hear from police.
Ernesta said she would simply expect the police to say “sorry, somebody made a wrong call” and nothing more than that.
Eduardo and his sister Meda (7) play in and around the car wash, including roaming around a big field at the back, and have toys on site when they are spending time with their dad.
The couple say the toy gun had been there for about six months and it had never been a problem before.
Eduardo, a pupil at West Pinchbeck Primary School, said: “I feel kind of sad because it’s my gun. I enjoyed playing with it.”
A police spokesman said RAPT officers carry sidearms as part of their standard kit.
She continued: “The premises weren’t ‘raided’, they were visited by two RAPT officers on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon. They were reasonably satisfied that the object was a replica or toy but it was seized as per standard procedure and booked in at Spalding Police Station.
“What happens next usually is that the people involved will be contacted and arrangements can be made to have the ‘gun’ returned.
“Any incident which involves a report of firearms is taken very seriously, with the safety of the public and officers of foremost consideration.”
• B&M Bargains did not return our call.