Three arrested after ‘sledge-hammer’ shop break-ins in Suffolk and Essex

The Co-op in Canham Road, Great Cornard, was among those burgled. Picture: GOOGLE

The Co-op in Canham Road, Great Cornard, was among those burgled. Picture: GOOGLE - Credit: Archant

Three people have been arrested after a spree of overnight shop burglaries in Suffolk and Essex – which may be linked.

Suffolk police received the first reported break-in at around 11.20pm at the Norfolk House Shop in Hopton, north Suffolk.

A member of the public reported three men had broken into the shop with what appeared to be a sledge-hammer and were stealing cigarettes.

The burglars are reported to have made off in a blue car.

A further break-in happened at the Co-op in Canhams Road, Great Cornard, at 12.42am this morning, again involving three men stealing cigarettes.

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Reports of this crime suggest the thieves’ car was black.

A force spokesman said the two crimes were possibly linked, despite the significant distance between the two shops.

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Two more shops were targeted just south of the Essex border in Belchamp St Paul and Finchingfield.

Essex Police arrested three men – it has not yet been confirmed how many of the break-ins the men have been arrested in connection with.

It comes after a spate of overnight break-ins at shops in Suffolk and Essex, many of them Co-ops.

Ram-raiders smashed into shops including in Dedham, Lavenham and Long Melford.

The East of England Co-operative offered a £40,000 reward for information leading to the ram-raiders’ arrest.

The latest break-ins were not ram-raids and there has been no suggested link with any of the other burglaries.

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