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Shopkeeper sees off raiders

PUBLISHED: 18:00 22 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:24 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK shopkeeper foiled ram raiders today after he yelled at them to "Get lost" during an early morning attack on his store.

John Watt, who has run the Village Stores in Chedburgh near Bury St Edmunds for 34 years, was alerted to the break-in bid when his burglar alarm went off.

A SUFFOLK shopkeeper foiled ram raiders today after he yelled at them to "Get lost" during an early morning attack on his store.

John Watt, who has run the Village Stores in Chedburgh near Bury St Edmunds for 34 years, was alerted to the break-in bid when his burglar alarm went off.

When he looked out of the window he saw three men wearing balaclavas trying to break into the shop.

They had rammed a bollard outside the small store and smashed through the lower half of the door with a ladder.

Mr Watt said: "I've got an alarm that goes off upstairs, when I heard it I opened the window and shouted in no uncertain terms for them to get lost"

"They had already done the initial damage though."

Mr Watt believes the ram raiders, who struck at 2.30am, were after the cash machine in the store. However he said even if they had stolen it they would not have got away with a lot.

"There is no money in it at night," he said.

Mr Watt added the Chedburgh Village Stores had been the target of several burglary attempts during his time running it. However not one of them had been successful.

"These people don't care they just don't care," he said.

"The security is enough to foil them but if they are going to try it they will try again.

"But they didn't get in and they didn't get anything."

The three men attempting to burgle the store drove off empty handed in a Land Rover, or similar type vehicle, and a red van.

Police said intruders fled empty handed after they were disturbed, leaving damage to the front of the property.

Officers appealed for witnesses to contact Bury St Edmunds police on 01284 774100.

The latest ram-raid follows a similar style attack at Glemsford, near Sudbury, on Sunday when a gang smashed down the front doors of a village petrol station. Police said at the time that the raiders could be behind similar robberies.

The attackers, who left a trail of devastation behind them at the Suffolk business, are thought to have been after cigarettes worth thousands of pounds when they used a stolen car to break into the shop.

But the early-morning robbers were forced to flee with only a television and video recorder – leaving skid marks on the concrete forecourt.

Earlier this month a similar ram raid caused thousands of pounds of damage to a store at Great Bentley, near Colchester.

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