Grundisburgh: Store staff shocked by ram raid

STAFF at a village convenience store faced a huge clean-up operation after an early hours ram-raid.

A large amount of cigarettes, several bottles of alcohol and the till containing cash were among the items stolen by the thieves that targeted the Olde Forge Stores in Woodbridge Road, Grundisburgh, on Sunday morning.

The suspects also stole charity boxes from the till area, depriving East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices, Cancer Research UK, the RNLI and Macmillan Cancer Support of much-needed funds.

Shop owner Justin Denny said the “horrible” break-in, which happened in the early hours of yesterday, had not put off the staff from opening for business just a few hours later. He said: “They stole a substantial amount of cigarettes – that’s mainly what they were after. They also took quite a lot of booze, a till with cash in and stole the charity boxes from the counter.

“The damage to the shop that they caused was probably the biggest expense, really.

“We still opened at 8am and obviously it’s an inconvenience and a pain having to go through the insurance process. I think we will have to have a whole new shop front. They smashed in the two doors and also destroyed the cigarette cabinet. They did a reasonable job of smashing it up.”

Mr Denny has owned the shop for five years, taking over from his mother, who ran the business for 25 years. He added: “It was a bit of a shock – it’s a small village and I think the customers were shocked too. But it won’t stop us trading and we won’t let it get us down.”

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Police were called to the shop at 2.20am after being contacted by staff at the neighbouring pub who had heard the alarm going off and saw the car leaving the scene.

A police spokesman said: “Officers arrived to discover a vehicle had been reversed into the front doors of the shop and access had been gained. Once inside the offenders had stolen cigarettes and a till.

“It is believed that three people were involved and were driving an estate car.”

The spokesman said officers would be reviewing CCTV footage of the incident and speaking to residents about the raid.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leiston CID on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.