An elderly couple who went shopping in New Year’s Day sales were stunned when they found themselves caught in the middle – of an illegal rave.
Dick Dickens, 80, and Lil Dickens, 79, were hunting for bargains when they spotted dozens of cars outside a warehouse and decided to venture inside.
But the retired pair were stunned when they found 1,000 revellers at the tail-end of a drug-fuelled rave – which had caused £50,000 damage to the
Confused Dick and Lil even posed for a picture with the revellers who police believe were high on ecstasy, cocaine and nitrous oxide – laughing gas.
The bemused expressions snapped on their faces by one of the New Year revellers was later posted on Facebook.
When Dick and Lil realised they were not in the sales the hardy old-timers said their goodbyes and safely ventured back to their car.
The ravers were allowed to leave a trail of destruction at the premises, owned by businessman John Finn, 63, after police ruled it would have been unsafe to break up the party.
The rave in March, Cambs., caused so much anger in the local community it has since been flagged up to the Home Secretary.
Dick, from Turves, near March, Cambs., said: “We had been out shopping and we saw all these cars outside.
“There was no music or anything like that. The cars were parked all over the place. We thought it was a sale.
“I don’t think we were the only ones as there were several people wandering over to see what was going on.
“We had a look in and that was it. When we realised that it wasn’t a sale we left. We’re in our 80s so we don’t want to get mixed up in anything like that.
“Some girl just popped up with a camera and took our picture. She said ‘right, you’ll be on Facebook now!'”
A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Constabulary said officers did not break up the rave “because it was not practical or safe for officers to disrupt the event.”
But the force has since launched a major campaign – Operation Silwood – to prosecute those responsible for holding it.
Officers made the first arrest in connection with the rave last week.
MP for North East Cambs Steve Barclay highlighted the incident during a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May.
Mrs May said: “This event showed a blatant disregard for the owners of this property who were left to pick up the pieces.
“It’s essential that those responsible are brought to justice.
“I know the police will do everything they can to bring their investigation to a successful conclusion and welcome the fact they have made it a priority to apprehend the organisers.”