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'We need to be vigilant' community reacts after attempted smash and grab raid

PUBLISHED: 13:42 08 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:18 08 December 2019

A car has done a significant amount of damage to the Dobbies Garden Centre in Woodbridge this morning Picture: ARCHANT

A car has done a significant amount of damage to the Dobbies Garden Centre in Woodbridge this morning Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

A Woodbridge garden centre was the victim of an attempted smash and grab raid at the start of one of their busiest weekends of the year, leading to calls for the community to be more vigilant.

Police remain on the scene at Dobbies Picture: ARCHANTPolice remain on the scene at Dobbies Picture: ARCHANT

Police were called to Dobbies Garden Centre in Grundisburgh Road on Saturday morning after a car smashed through the window of the centre's cafe, sending shards of shattered glass flying across the dining area where just hours later children were due to have breakfast with Santa.

The car caused significant damage to the building and police revealed they believe this was an attempted smash and grab raid, although no items were stolen.

Part of the garden centre car park had to be cordoned off for several hours while officers conducted an investigation.

Despite the large amount of damage caused, the garden centre was fully open yesterday, with staff welcoming regulars and those hunting for the perfect Christmas tree.

Part of the Dobbies car park has been cordoned off Picture: ARCHANTPart of the Dobbies car park has been cordoned off Picture: ARCHANT

Woodbridge town and district councillor Chris Mapey said it was a particular shame that the burglary had taken place when Christmas was just around the corner and the centre should have been busier than ever.

"I am surprised," said Mr Mapey.

"We have had Black Friday, this should be the best time of the year for businesses where they can focus on customer service not boarding up."

He called on the community, traders and staff to be wary of anything that could be seen as an opportunity by thieves and said: "We need to be vigilant, and shops need to be a bit more cautious, although I would like to think this is a one-off event."

A Dobbies spokesman said: "We are aware of an incident at our Woodbridge store on December 7, 2019.

"The police were notified immediately and this incident is now under investigation."

Dobbies opened in Woodbridge just over a year ago, the company took over the site in November 2018 from rival chain Wyevale Garden Centres as part of a larger buy out.

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