Store owner's fury after smash-and-grab

A SHOP owner expressed his fury today after two men wielding a sledge hammer forced their way into his store and stole money, cigarettes and a safe.The men, one of them clad in a balaclava, broke into the East Bergholt post office and store in The Street at about 10pm on Saturday night.

A SHOP owner expressed his fury today after two men wielding a sledge hammer forced their way into his store and stole money, cigarettes and a safe.

The men, one of them clad in a balaclava, broke into the East Bergholt post office and store in The Street at about 10pm on Saturday night.

Watched by frightened residents, the men were seen loading up a maroon coloured car with goods before fleeing the scene, driving off towards Gaston Street and into Hadleigh Road.

A resident living in a nearby property, said: “We heard lots of bangs and then the alarm went off at the post office so we phoned the police.


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“We could see an estate car outside with men with hoods on loading cigarettes and things into the car.

“All the neighbours around here could hear it happening but we didn't want to approach them ourselves, the police were here very quickly anyway.”

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The raid was the second time the shop had been targeted by robbers. In October last year a group of robbers, armed with a sawn-off shot gun, a crowbar and pickaxe handle stormed into the shop, threatened staff and made off with cash.

The owner of the convenience store, Alec Gardiner, said he felt angry and tired after the incident, which left substantial damage to the front door of the premises and the wall that a safe was removed from.

He said: “I'm not feeling at all happy about this and I'm very tired. I wish we could make a punishment to fit the crime really, and I think every law abiding member of the public would say the same.

“I wish they'd just lock them up and throw away the key.”

Richard Senior, 60, of nearby Foxhall Fields, said: “It's a quiet area but as soon as you hear one has been done they all get done.

“They do the rounds every year in all the little villages around here.

“Alec has been waiting for it to happen, but what can you do, you can't do anything about it.”

The men, who were both captured on CCTV, are now being sought by CID officers investigating the incident.

One of the men is described as wearing track suit-type trousers and a light-coloured top and the second man, who was the one carrying the sledge hammer, is described as wearing a dark top, dark trousers and a balaclava.

Anyone with information can call DC John Peddelty at Hadleigh CID on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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