The heartbroken family of 59-year-old Hilary Simmons who sadly died following a raid on a Tesco express store in Middlesbrough’s Corporation Road have paid tribute to her.
Hilary tragically died after two men aged 35 and 37 attempted to raid the store she was working her in.
Cleveland Police have now arrested these two men on suspicion of manslaughter.
Hilary’s death followed an earlier attempted robbery within the Tesco Express store. She suddenly became ill after an alleged shoplifting attempt.
Hilary’s death is being treated as unexplained, with two men, aged 35 and 37, being questioned on suspicion of manslaughter.
The store in the centre of Middlesbrough town centre has been closed and a staff are being supported.
Two men are currently being held in police custody on suspicion of manslaughter and attempted theft from a shop after the incident at the Middlesbrough, Teesside Tesco.
Her family have now released a statement “Hilary was a much-loved mummy, wife, family member, friend and colleague.
“She was known to all her work colleagues as ‘Tesco mummy’ and was very well thought of and respected in the workplace. So much so, that on Mother’s Day all of the staff contributed to buy her a gift to show their appreciation to her.
“She will be dearly missed by all who knew her, especially by her husband, son, daughter (known as her little girl) and her Yorkshire Terrier, George who she adored.
“We will cherish the memories we have had with mummy and would like to thank everyone who has expressed their sympathies and condolences so far.
“We as a family would like to request privacy at this time to enable us to grieve.”
Cleveland Police said today: “Detectives are continuing to look into whether the death could be linked to an earlier incident which occurred at Tesco at around 7.30pm on Monday, prior to the woman becoming ill.
“Our thoughts go out to the woman’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
A post-mortem was carried out yesterday, but the cause of death has not been released.
Police have since appealed for any witnesses who may have been at the tore on Corporation Road at the time of the alleged theft to come forward.
A Tesco spokesperson said: “We are shocked and saddened to hear of this incident and our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to our colleague’s family and friends at this difficult time.”
Anyone who may have any information regarding the incident at Tesco is asked to contact Cleveland Police on 101 quoting the event number 076000.