Thousands stolen from independent brewery during 'devastating' burglary
PUBLISHED: 16:10 09 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:10 09 January 2020
Burglars smashed through a metal gate before using sledgehammers to break into an independent brewery in Long Melford, stealing thousands of pounds in an overnight burglary.
Offenders carried out the "devastating" burglary at Nethergate Brewery in the Suffolk town in the early hours of Wednesday, January 8.
CCTV captured the group smashing their way into offices through a glass door before carrying out an untidy search, eventually taking thousands from a safe, including charity money set aside for a new defibrillator.
Rob Crawford, general manager at the brewery, said: "Our drivers get in early and one of them saw that our front gates were bent pretty badly out of shape and so they called one of the head brewers who called me.
"The side glass door was smashed and we went upstairs to the office to find the devastation they had caused while they ransacked the room.
"They clearly didn't now their way around because they spent a while looking around.
"They took a safe which has a couple of thousands of pounds in there, but it is all insured.
"The worse part is that we were collecting for a new defibrillator and, fortunately they didn't take the collection box on the bar, but we had put a couple of hundred pounds in the safe."
Suffolk police are now investigating the possibility the burglary is linked to a similar incident which took place at 3am on the same day at Hennessey Lifestyle in Great Whelnetham, where a front door was smashed and an amount of cash was taken.
Mr Crawford said that he had supplied officers with CCTV to assist with the investigation.
"They caused quite a lot of damage," he added.
"I haven't had a chance to get quotes yet to work out how much it will cost. Fortunately a local glass shop managed to replace the smashed door yesterday so we were back up and running by lunch time.
"It's been brilliant to see the response from people on Facebook. Locals have really supported us and our regulars came in for a drink to make sure we are OK."
Suffolk police have asked for anyone who has information about the Great Whelnetham raid to call 101 quoting crime reference 37/1496/20. Any witnesses to the Long Melford burglary should quote 37/1485/20.