Ram raids across three counties linked

POLICE today confirmed they are linking a ram-raid in Claydon with five others in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.Officers investigating the attack on the Claydon Co-op, at 3am last Thursday, have flagged up a number of parallels with crimes committed elsewhere in the region.

POLICE today confirmed they are linking a ram-raid in Claydon with five others in Suffolk, Essex and Norfolk.

Officers investigating the attack on the Claydon Co-op, at 3am last Thursday, have flagged up a number of parallels with crimes committed elsewhere in the region.

On each occasion cash machines were targeted and stolen vehicles, usually 4x4, used to tear through the shop frontage.

Balaclava-clad attackers were also spotted guarding a number of the crime scenes with weapons including baseball bats.


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The raid in Claydon happened within two hours of similar attacks being carried out in Essex.

And it followed a trio of raids in April and March that targeted two premises in Norfolk and one in north Suffolk.

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A police spokesman said officers are working on the assumption that the crimes are related.

He said: "The offences have been linked due to the similarities in the methods used by the offenders. We're working in conjunction with neighbouring forces in an attempt to apprehend the offenders.

"There are a number of similarities between the offences, including the stolen vehicles that have been used and later abandoned and the way in which they've attempted to remove the cash machines from the premises."

Although the raiders did not manage to dislodge the cash from the Claydon store, they caused around £9,000 of damage to its frontage.

It was a similar story in Dickleburgh, in Norfolk, where the damage amounted to £20,000, and at Kenninghall, also in Norfolk. In Stradbroke, the shop owners were left with a £500 repair bill to put right the store's cash machine and front door.

The two attacks in Essex caused similar chaos, with around £10,000 of destruction caused at a Co-op store in Dedham and a similar amount at a Q8 garage in Weeley.

Police investigating the Claydon incident have now recovered a red Rover Vitesse used to flee the scene. This was found dumped in Stoke-by-Nayland at 11am on Monday and has since been examined by scenes of crime officers.

Anyone with information about the crimes are asked to call Suffolk police on 01473 613500 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Have you been affected by a ram-raid? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or join the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

FASTfacts - Ram-raids

8.45pm March 25 - Baton-wielding offenders rammed a stolen 4x4 Toyota vehicle through the front of a Post Office, in Kenninghall, Norfolk and then hooked a cable to the shop's cash machine. They dragged it out of the building with a pick-up truck and escaped with its contents, which amounted to a "substantial five-figure" sum.

12.15am March 29 - Balaclava-clad raiders smashed their way into the Spar Shop, in Stradbroke, before hooking a ratchet strap over a cash machine and attempting to drag it out with a stolen Mitsubishi 4x4 vehicle. But they fled empty-handed after being disturbed.

1am April 23 - A 4x4 Mitsubishi vehicle was reversed into Dickleburgh Village Store to target an empty cash machine. But they escaped empty-handed and fled in another vehicle.

1am June 17 - Three masked raiders, armed with crowbars, used a stolen Mitsubishi 4x4 vehicle to plough through the front of a Co-op in Dedham. They made repeated unsuccessful attempts to haul away a cash machine before fleeing the scene empty-handed.

2.30am June 17 - A stolen gold Ford Escort is rammed into the Q8 Garage in Weeley, near Colchester, and fled with a cash machine and its £6,000 contents.

3am June 17 - A stolen green Isuzu Trooper is slammed into the Claydon Co-op three times, with unsuccessful attempts made to drag out a cash machine. The gang were seen wielding baseball bats.

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