Copdock: ‘Vindictive’ ram raiders caused more than �250,000 damage
COPDOCK: A businessman today branded ram raiding thieves who caused more than �250,000 damage as “vindictive and evil criminals”.
Thieves broke into the Copdock Country Store building in Copdock Mill, Old London Road, last Thursday after smashing through the side of the building with what police believe to be a large 4x4.
Once inside, they ripped a 185kg safe from the ground and made off with it, but not before setting light to the business premises.
Six fire crews were called to the scene and found flames had torn through the office and staff room, causing substantial damage to the entire building.
Staff are still struggling to come to terms with the effect on their trade and the scale of the repairs, which are expected take months to complete.
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Mark Gladwell, owner and chairman of the company, revealed the thieves had stolen just �1,500 stored in the safe but the repair bill from the blaze is likely to run to a staggering �250,000. He said: “Thieves broke into our compound and attempted to break into our trade and retail shop by ramming it with a vehicle.
“They returned 90 minutes later and had a second go. This time they succeeded and took our safe, which had been bolted to the concrete floor.
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“The damage they did was substantial but would have been repairable in a few days. However, these vindictive and evil criminals threw a large jerry can of, we believe, petrol into the building and set it alight.
“The resulting blaze has done so much damage, estimated to be about �250,000 that will take up to six months to repair.”
Mr Gladwell said he had been working with insurers to agree a temporary solution so the shop could resume full trading.
They are looking to establish a temporary facility either on or off site.
He added: “Our staff have been amazing, our customers have been overwhelming in their messages of support and offers of help and the local business community has been generous in their practical assistance and we thank every one of them.”
Police have re-appealed for information and witnesses to come forward. Anyone with information is urged to contact detectives at Ipswich police station on 01473 613500.
Customers are advised to keep checking the company’s website for updates on trading. Visit www. copdockmill.co.uk
n Have you got a message of support for Mr Gladwell and his team? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail email@example.com