Ram raiders steal shop's cash machine

CELIA WIGG The new proprietors of a village store were left shell shocked after ram raiders smashed into the building and stole a cash machine. Jason and Claire Reynolds only took over the Spar shop at Banham in May, having decided to run their own business in a bid to make a better life for their two young sons.

CELIA WIGG

The new proprietors of a village stores were left shell shocked after ram raiders smashed into the building and stole a cash machine.

Jason and Claire Reynolds only took over the Spar shop at Banham in May, having decided to run their own business in a bid to make a better life for their two young sons.

The last thing they expected was to be woken up in the early hours and told four balaclava raiders had driven a 4x4 jeep through the shop's front door, leaving a scene of devastation and escaping with an undisclosed sum of money.

The alarm was raised by businessman Martin Goymour, of Banham Zoo, who owns the shop building. He was awakened by the burglar alarm and contacted the police.

Mr Reynolds said: “We live at Tacolneston, and I got a telephone call at around 10 past 2am. By the time my wife and I arrived the police and Martin were there, and we saw the devastation. The front door, the corner of the building and the window had been completely destroyed.

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“Everyone says 'But you are insured'. Yes, we are, but that's not the issue. We have only had the business two-and-a- half months and that really hurts. It has just hit home this morning. I have been in retail 15 years and have picked up the aftermath as an employee, but for it to happen to me is so different.”

Builders from Mr Goymour's home and properties division, worked flat out on Friday carrying out repairs so the stores could start trading again on Saturday. The workmen blocked up the original front door, which opened onto the main road, and have created a new access at the side to improve security.

“They have worked so hard to make the shop ready for opening. It's just a great team, they have done a wonderful job,” added Mr Reynolds.

Despite the ordeal, the couple was determined not to miss five-year-old son Ryan's end of term barbecue.

“He would have been so disappointed if we couldn't make it,” said Mrs Reynolds, who also has an 18-month-old toddler.

Two vehicles were involved in the ram raid - a jeep, stolen from East Harling and a Vauxhall Cavalier taken from Snetterton.

Witnesses saw four people - all of whom were wearing balaclavas and dark-coloured clothing.

Det Sgt Jason Davis said: “This was an organised premeditated attack carried out by determined criminals, intent on causing damage to fulfil their aims.

“We would urge anyone who may have seen anything suspicious, or may have been in the area, to contact us. I can reassure anybody willing to assist with this inquiry would be offered anonymity.”

t Any information to Norfolk police on 0845 456 4567 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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