Ram raid will have ‘dramatic impact’ on villagers, say locals
- Credit: Archant
A ram raid in a Suffolk village could have a ‘dramatic impact’ on residents, leaving them without a cashpoint or a potentially life-saving defibrillator.
Ram raiders targeted the Co-op in Debenham the third time - using a JCB to smash the wall and remove the cash machine, damaging the village's defibrillator in the process.
Councillors are now saying that the resulting damage and the continued targeting of the Co-op means that the effect of this break-in will be longer than just the shop closure.
The shop was last targeted in February 2018 where residents awoke to a similar scene as the one today.
Raiders again smashed the wall of the shop, removing the cashpoint again using a JCB just weeks after the store was again targeted, this time by burglars who stole cigarettes from the store.
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Kathie Guthrie, Ward councillor for Debenham Ward said: "It really does have a dramatic impact on the villagers. It will last for a while. It is not nice to see crime like this going on in your village.
"There is another cash point in Debenham, but it is in the Post Office, inside the Co-op, which is of course now closed.
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"There are lots of elderly people in this community and they want to use cash in the shops around here.
"We have a lovely grocery and a paper shop but this is the only convenience store here. When it is closed people have to go to Framlingham or Stowmarket and a lot of the residents can't get there."
Businesses also say they will also feel the pinch after the ram raid due to a reduction in the number of people coming to the village centre to visit the shops located there.
"Last time this happened our takings went down," said Kelly Hammond, from Henry Abbott Hardware.
"They have done serious damage this time and it affects our business."
Another lasting effect on the village is the damage to the defibrillator bought by the Co-op for the village which will now be out of use for the foreseeable future, according to Debenham First Responders.
Cllr Guthrie added: "The defibrillator is a vital bit of equipment in the village.
"We have fantastic first responders in the village who will have to fun another defibrillator if it is damaged and I'm sure that Debenham residents will stand up to help with that, but I don't know where it will be located now.
"I don't think that people that do this kind of thing realise the small consequences which could effect people's lives."
Following the incident, Suffolk police arrested a man in connection with the raid.