Ram-raiders strike at Sudbury garage

RAM-raiders stole a cash machine after smashing into a Suffolk garage – the latest in a string of similar crimes across East Anglia. Police are investigating whether the raid, in Sudbury, is linked to 59 other ram-raids across Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk since August.

RAM-raiders stole a cash machine after smashing into a Suffolk garage – the latest in a string of similar crimes across East Anglia.

Police are investigating whether the raid, in Sudbury, is linked to 59 other ram-raids across Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk since August.

There have also been 20 armed robberies in what is believed to be the largest organised crime spree seen across the region for many years.

In the latest incident yesterday morning, ram-raiders drove a silver Freelander through a glass window of the Barratt Lee Service Station in Northern Road, Sudbury, before stealing an empty ATM machine.

Police believe the car was stolen from north Yorkshire on Wednesday and it was later found dumped with the cash machine in a field on the outskirts of neighbouring village Foxearth.

Simon Barratt, managing director of the garage, said: "The car caused a lot of damage to the shop but at least the cash machine was empty.

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"This is the second time the garage has been targeted in just 12 months. I'm only surprised it hasn't been sooner – every day I come into work expecting this to happen.

"The ram raids are something we are all aware of at the moment and it is always a worry.

"But there is not much we can do other than make sure all our security procedures are in place, which they are. We also feel the police are doing as much as they can."

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said: "The Operation Arctic team will be investigating yesterday's crime to determine if it is linked with other similar incidents across the region.

"Police are keen to hear from anyone who may have information in relation to the ram raid or saw the car being abandoned in Foxearth.

"Since August 1, 2004, there have been nine ram raids in Suffolk, seven in Norfolk, 16 in Essex and 28 in Cambridgeshire."

Anyone with information on yesterday's incident, which took place sometime between 3am and 5am yesterday morning, should contact Det Sgt Andy Footer at Sudbury CID on 01284 774332 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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