Spar Lindford, in Hampshire, has yet to fully re-open two months after the store was targeted by thieves, who used a telehandler tractor to make off with the store’s ATM.
The incident caused major damage to the store’s stockroom and office. The offenders smashed into the side of building, pulling the ATM cash machine out of the wall before making off in a dark-coloured pick-up truck. Police are still seeking information on the culprits.
The ram-raid took place at around 2.20am on Sunday, January 28 and forced co-owners Julian and Jackie Taylor-Green to close their in-store Post Office. The couple’s safes, equipment and office furniture were also impacted, with significant damage being caused to the store’s roof and external walls.
Following the incident, Julian attended this year’s ACS Crime Seminiar to discuss the impact of crime on the convenience sector.
He said: “It has cost us about £18,000 to secure the building and it’s going to cost at least another £30,000 to get everything completely sorted. It’s all covered by insurance but you know what insurance companies are like - It all takes a bit longer than you would like.
“The office is completely damaged but we’ve managed to stay open throughout. It’s difficult because at first customers are sympathetic but they begin to get frustrated that they can’t pay by card at the Post Office for example.”
Julian has been forced to do most of his admin from home which means he hasn’t been able to spend as much time in-store as he would like.
“Some people have been saying that they haven’t seen me in the shop for a while but it’s not like I’m not working. It’s just that I’ve had to use my home as an office and get all the paperwork sorted out in the meantime,” he added.
“We’ve remained as open as possible but the work isn’t going to be finished in time for Easter. At the moment, we are looking at mid-April before everything is back to normal.”
Anyone with information about the crime should contact Hampshire Constabulary on 101 quoting 44180036125. Watch the CCTV footage below to see the full incident.