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‘All that hassle just for some crisps’ – anger at pointless shop break-in

PUBLISHED: 05:20 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 06:59 19 October 2018

Manager of Sproughton Community Shop Wendy Lavington. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Manager of Sproughton Community Shop Wendy Lavington. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Raiders caused hundreds of pounds of damage when they threw a concrete paving stone through a shop door window – just to steal a few measly bags of crisps.

The scene after the break-in at the community shop in Sproughton, near Ipswich. Picture: SPROUGHTON COMMUNITY SHOPThe scene after the break-in at the community shop in Sproughton, near Ipswich. Picture: SPROUGHTON COMMUNITY SHOP

Wendy Lavington had stepped inside the Sproughton Community Shop fearing the worst after getting an alarm call at around 3am.

But when the manager of the volunteer-run store in Lower Road, Sproughton stepped inside, she found that nothing more than some bags of crisps and bottles of soft drinks were taken – with more valuable items left on the shelf.

The crooks even left a trail of crisp packets as they fled the scene, with police now appealing for information to catch the hungry thieves.

“I got called out at 3am, thinking it was just a false alarm, to find a slab of concrete put through the door,” said Mrs Lavington of the incident in the early hours of Saturday, October 13.

Sproughton Community Shop. Picture: SIMON PARKERSproughton Community Shop. Picture: SIMON PARKER

“Neighbours said it seemed like young people. It was mainly just crisps and bottles of soft drink taken – there were packets of crisps in the courtyard.

“I think they were looking for some cigarettes. All that hassle just for some crisps.”

The shop, which carries more than 1,000 products, was opened in March 2010 to “fulfil a need” in the community.

“There was no shop in Sproughton and there are a lot of elderly people,” Mrs Lavington said.

Sproughton Community Shop. Picture: SIMON PARKERSproughton Community Shop. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Apart from the manager, the store is staffed entirely by volunteers – with Mrs Lavington saying the break-in “makes some of the volunteers feel uncomfortable”.

However Sproughton’s community spirit prevailed on the morning after the burglary, with neighbours helping to clear up the mess left from the break-in so the shop could reopen as soon as possible.

The front door is currently boarded up while the glass, which was completely smashed, is replaced – but the shop is open as normal.

A spokesman for Suffolk Constabulary confirmed police had been called to the scene of the incident at 3.35am on the day.

Manager of Sproughton Community Shop Wendy Lavington. Picture: SIMON PARKERManager of Sproughton Community Shop Wendy Lavington. Picture: SIMON PARKER

“Unknown suspects has used a paving slab to smash the glass door and gain entry and made off,” the spokesman added.

Anyone with information about the incident should call Suffolk police on 101, quoting incident number 37/59070/18 from October 13.

Alternatively people can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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