A ram raid in Gravesend is being linked to 35 similar incidents in North Kent over the past two years. The owner of Bob’s Store in the town, Ismet Karkus, was woken in the early hours after a gang of four drove a Land Rover through the shopfront and tied a metal chain to the cash machine. More than £16,000-worth of damage was caused.

Police are investigating a mini-riot which resulted in a shopkeeper being badly beaten. The owner of the Local Supermarket in Welling, Essex, was attacked after he tried to protect stock that was being thrown by three women who had just left a nearby pub. An argument broke out and more than 20 people from the pub joined in. The retailer is recovering from severe facial swelling, a black eye and a broken tooth.

Armed robbers in Lancashire ended up with a more fruitful haul than expected when they escaped with a bag of strawberries. Two men, wearing high-visibility waistcoats, threatened staff and customers at the post office store in Edenfield before helping themselves to a bag of money. But in the hurry the money was left and the fruit was taken in its place.

Police have issued CCTV stills showing a shopkeeper grappling with an armed robber at his East Sussex store. The attempted robbery was the third in six months on the Windmill Hill store and post office. The gunman fled empty-handed after retailer Tim Willis pushed him out from behind the counter. The raider wore a fancy dress wig.

A Nottingham shopkeeper fended off an armed gang with a baseball bat after they demanded money. The four youths, one of which carried a gun, launched the attack at the Ninth Avenue c-store in West Bridgford. Retailer Ebad Alam swung the bat at the gang, forcing them to flee.