Family to quit after third raid

PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:08 03 March 2010

TERRIFIED couple Linda and Colin Buttle have vowed to close their post office forever after robbers struck twice in one day and for the third time in just over three weeks.

TERRIFIED couple Linda and Colin Buttle have vowed to close their post office forever after robbers struck twice in one day and for the third time in just over three weeks.

In the latest attacks at the couple's post office in Little Stonham, which is run by their daughter, Sarah Buttle, two men smashed the door down just after 11am on Saturday and made off with a bag of money.

But this was not the end of their nightmare. At around 10.15pm that same day they got a call to say that robbers were once again at the post office. This time they got into the adjoining house and caused damage throughout.

Luckily, Miss Buttle and her young son had already fled to her parents' home at the Hand in Hand pub in Trimley St Martin.

After the first robbery on Saturday morning Mrs Buttle said they could not take any more. In tears she told The Evening Star how this was the final straw and they would not be going back to the post office.

"Life is too precious. Who knows what they could do?

"My daughter was in the shop on the phone to her dad when they came bursting in. They smashed the door and came through. My husband just told my daughter to run and she did.

"She is so traumatised and is already having counselling after the first break in. We had owned the shop for about four years and had no trouble then this happens twice. We just can't take any more," said the 51-year-old.

In disbelief she spoke again on Sunday about the second break-in.

"I just cannot believe the audacity of these people. My friend called us at the pub to say the alarm was going off again. They had broken in through a window and ransacked two bedrooms. Words cannot describe how I and my family feel.

"My husband is just convinced they are coming back again for the safe," she added.

Mr Buttle, 54, spoke after the first robbery and said there was no way his daughter was going back to work there.

"I was on the phone and they just walked in. She said, "they are back again", and I told her to put the phone down run and press the alarm.

"This is a young woman with a son and she shouldn't have to put up with it. I just feel like they are taking the mick out of the police and everyone. This is the final icing on the cake and we are shutting the post office for good," he said.

On November 5 Miss Buttle struggled to fight off three armed robbers who stole cash from the post office.

It was nearly two weeks before she could face going back to work and she was left with bruising to her back. At the time the Evening Star offered £1000 reward for information which would lead to the arrest and conviction of the robbers.

The robbers are believed to have made their get away in a grey Vauxhall Omega –index number M308 NOV. They were last seen driving south along the A140. There is also a strong possibility the car was in the Diss area between 9.30am and 10am on Saturday.

There is not a full description of the men yet but they are both believed to be black and in their 20s.

Acting Detective Inspector Karl Smith said he believed there was a strong likelihood that the same gang members carried out both raids.

He said on this occasion no weapons were seen but there was a threat of violence.

Suffolk Police are warning people not to approach the men but to telephone them on Ipswich 613500.

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