Gang foiled in smash and grab raid on newsagents

BRAMFORD: Police are today hunting four raiders involved in an aborted early morning raid on a village newsagents.

A large piece of concrete was hurled through the glass door of Bramford Village News in The Street, but the burglars were forced to flee with only a few dozen packets of cigarettes and an empty cash drawer.

The thieves left in a hurry after it is believed they were spooked by the owner’s wife and 19-year-old son who live above the shop and were awoken by the noise.

The raiders made their getaway in a stolen blue BMW, which had been waiting with its driver in The Bramford Cock car park.

The attempted break-in occurred between 1.30am and 1.45am yesterday.

John Beecroft, who owns Bramford Village News as well as Chantry News in Ipswich, said: “The alarm went off after a concrete slab about 18 inches square and three inches thick was hurled through the front door.

“It landed about a metre inside the door and dented the ice cream fridge.

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“It was obviously hurled with some force.

“They attempted to get the cigarette gantry up, which they did to a degree, but they fled in a hurry.

“They couldn’t have been in the building long because my son and wife were upstairs.

“I think the thieves possibly realised there were people upstairs and they had put the lights on.”

The burglars tried to take the shop’s till, which was found on the floor.

Mr Beecroft said: “They left the monitor of the computerised till and keyboard, but took the base. I think they thought they had the till drawer with money in it, but the till drawer was in the safe.

“All they got was the base.”

The thieves were in such a rush to get out that they left behind a bag of coins, which are kept in a box and used for when staff needed change.

Mr Beecroft added: “The bag was still sat on the floor out of its box, and the money was there.

“I am gutted, upset, and angry. We weren’t able to trade properly until the afternoon.”

It is believed the damage caused, and loss of stock, will run into a four-figure sum.

The BMW used as a getaway car had been stolen in Ipswich.

Anyone with information that could help the police inquiry should telephone PC John Skinner from Stowmarket on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.