A Norfolk retailer has praised the community’s response after his store’s ATM was stolen during a night-time ram-raid.

Norfolk Police have launched an investigation following the ram-raid at Johnsons of Reepham convenience store and Post Office in Reepham.

Officers were called at 3.45am on Wednesday (April 25) to reports of a burglary at the store.

Suspects used a JCB to remove the building’s external cash machine before loading it onto what is believed to be a flat bed truck.

The JCB was then left at the scene and set alight. Police later found that the vehicle had been stolen from a property in North Tuddenham.

Douglas Johnson, co-owner of the store, said: “Luckily the shop was closed when the incident happened but my parents live above the shop and they are elderly so it was a very scary time for them. The mess left by the raid is what has had the biggest impact.”

The store’s ATM was installed in 2016 and Douglas even installed bollards outside the store to deter criminals trying to target the cash machine.

“The building is about 250 years old.” Douglas added. “Everywhere you look there is another problem to fix. At the moment, repairs could cost us between £40,000 to £50,000.

“But the response from the local community has been amazing. We’ve had loads of cards and flowers and all the staff have received gifts. They are a bit shaken by the incident but thankfully no one was hurt.”

The road leading up to the Johnsons of Reepham store has been cordoned off and closed while the investigation continues.

Police are encouraging anyone who may have witnessed the incident to come forward.

Witnesses to the ram-raid should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting reference 36/24189/18.