Police linking two overnight ram raids in Trimley St Martin and Lavenham - but could third in Fordham also be linked?
Officers believe that two attempted ram raid style attacks in Suffolk which happened overnight may be linked.
Suffolk Constabulary believe that two attempted ram raids style attacks which happened overnight may be linked.
The first of the two incidents happened at 11.30pm on Monday at the McColl’s store on High Street in Trimley St Martin, near Felixstowe.
A spokesperson for Suffolk police said that a Subaru Impreza had reversed into the shop front and had attempted to drag out a cash machine within. The attempt was unsuccessful and the car flipped over as a result.
Four males are said to have left the scene in a black Mercedes that was driven by a fifth person.
Around 45 minutes later, a second incident took place at the Co-op supermarket, in Lavenham High Street.
A police spokesman said that four males had forced entry into the store with the use of crowbars and sledgehammers.
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Once they had entered the building they attempted to smash open the cash machine inside with the sledgehammers. This was also unsuccessful and the group left the scene in a black Mercedes which appeared to be in convoy with an Audi.
Police were called to the premises but the suspects had already fled the scene.
Other police units searched the area but were unable to locate the suspects.
A different store, the East of England Co-op, also in Lavenham High Street, was the target of a ram raid in which a Subaru vehicle was “reversed right through the middle” of the store on December 21.
A Suffolk police spokesman said both of the overnight incidents had been unsuccessful.
A McColl’s spokesperson said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of our employees is of utmost importance. This incident happened when the store was closed and no colleagues were thankfully hurt.
“We will be working hard to get our store ready to open to the public as soon as possible once it has been declared safe.
“We are working closely with the relevant authorities in response to this incident.”
Officers in Suffolk are also looking at the possibility that the raids were linked with a similar incident over the border in Cambridgeshire.
A spokesman from Cambridgeshire Constabulary said: “We were called at 1.30am today (January 9) with reports of an attempted ram raid in Fordham.
“The offenders attempted to remove the cash machine from a branch of Co-op in Cater Street, but failed and left the scene. Officers have attended the scene and an investigation is underway. No arrests have been made.”
A Suffolk police spokesperson said: “Officers are liaising with colleagues in Cambridgeshire about another incident occurring in Fordham in the early hours of this morning which may also be linked to these two crimes.
They are also working closely with the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit who are investigating similar recent offences across the eastern counties.”
The attempted ram raid comes just days after The Co-op group announced is to move its food store in Fordham to a new location in the town.
It also follows a pre-Christmas crime spree in December where East Cambridgeshire shops and businesses were ram raided and burgled.
Detective Superintendent Andy Smith, head of investigations at Suffolk police, said: “These offences form part of a pattern of organised serious crime which is occurring across our region. Not only do they cause extensive damage and disruption to the businesses and premises concerned, but they can be very frightening for neighbouring residents and distressing for staff.
“The attacks frequently target premises in rural or more isolated locations and so can have an impact on the whole community. We have had a fantastic response from local residents in many of these cases by calling us when the crime is occurring, but I would continue to urge members of the public to be vigilant and report suspicious activity to police without delay.
“Catching the individuals responsible is an absolute priority for us and we continue to work closely with our regional partners, along with relevant businesses and ATM providers and a number of steps have been taken already to target harden premises susceptible to this type of attack and this work will continue. We will also be increasing patrols in the vicinity of vulnerable premises.
“I am appealing to anyone who may have information about these offences to make contact as intelligence provided to us by members of the public is often vital to help us solve crimes.”
Anyone with information regarding any of these three incidents should contact police on 101.
For the incident in Trimley St Martin quote reference 1543/18
For the incident in Lavenham quote reference 1546/18
For the incident in Fordham quote reference CF0015500118 or visit www.cambs.police.uk/report.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
The latest incident follows more than 20 similar attacks across Suffolk and Essex last year.
Suffolk police said they are work with ATM providers and local businesses in the county which may be vulnerable to this style of attack by offering security advice.
Information for businesses can be found at the Suffolk police website or alternatively business owners can contact design out crime officer Phil Kemp on 101.