'This is not Hadleigh' - Neighbours shock after garage is ram raided for second time
PUBLISHED: 19:20 05 July 2019 | UPDATED: 19:20 05 July 2019
A community has spoken of its anger after audacious ram-raiders stole money from a petrol station, leaving a trail of destruction.
The Londis/Gulf garage on the B1070 Lady Lane, Hadleigh, had iron gated windows installed after a previous ram raid - but discovered even those had been torn off the wall completely during the raid on Friday, July 5.
Staff were woken at 3am by police to tell them about the crime - the second in two years - after a white Nissan Primastar van was used to pull the wall away from the side of the garage.
Thieves managed to steal cash from a safe, which was left behind at the property, leaving money strewn across the floor.
The attack follows a series of ram raids which have occurred across Suffolk over the last year - including an incident in Long Melford when a stolen digger was used to steal a cash machine.
Kathryn Grandon, the newly elected Chairman of Babergh District Council, was in complete shock after hearing of the raid.
She said: "I am very concerned about the level of violence used to attack the property. I like to think of Hadleigh as a safe place to live, so it's very scary when something like this happens."
"I would like to see more regular police coverage in the area as these overnight break-ins are happening far too often."
The vehicle made off before officers arrived, with no trace of the van when officers searched the area.
Police then received a further call following reports of a van on fire in Ipswich.
Officers believe the same van was used in the ram raid and had been stolen from an earlier incident in Polstead.
Harry Evans, a key holder at the garage, said: "They've gained barely anything yet they've caused us so much hassle.
"We will lose a lot of sales as we've had to close the garage all morning.
"We had shutters put up along with the iron gates following the raid in 2017, so it's crazy that even with these precautions we've still come under attack."
Staff at the garage are now trying to find a builder to do some temporary repair work to keep the property safe.
Phil Kemp, Designing Out Crime Officer for Suffolk Constabulary, is advising businesses to take precautions against possible crimes.
He said: "External approaches to premises can be protected by the installation of anti-ram bollards, vehicle-arresting systems, high rise kerbs, raised security planters, reinforced lamp posts or similar street furniture.
"Businesses should also make sure ATMS are well protected within the store."
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman added: "We constantly review all crime being reported to us to ensure we deploy our resources effectively based on threat, harm, risk and the investigative opportunities presented to us, and we will always endeavour to respond effectively, prioritising crime in progress or danger to people."