Co-op seeking solutions after numbers of stores targeted across East Anglia

Rickinghall, Suffolk. Co-Op store in Rickinghall which was ram-raided in an attempt to steal the ATM.   Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY
Rickinghall, Suffolk. Co-Op store in Rickinghall which was ram-raided in an attempt to steal the ATM. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE PHOTOGRAPHY

The Central England Co-operative says it is working with police and other firms to come up with solutions after a number of their stores were targeted by ram raiders.

Police were called after an attempt was made to break into the store in The Street, Rickinghall, just before 2am on Tuesday morning.

e are very aware of the major impact that ATM crime has on our customers and members and the communities in which we serve

Central England Co-operative spokesman

A Mitsubishi L200 pick-up was reversed through the main entrance of the building and an attempt was made to remove the cash machine from inside – which was unsuccessful.

The three suspects made off in a silver BMW X5 in the direction of the A140.

Police arrived at the scene shortly after and searched the local area, assisted by a National Police Air Service Helicopter, but the offenders were not located.

The Mitsubishi used to ram the building was left behind at the scene and it has been discovered this was stolen from an address in nearby Hopton, also in the early hours of that morning.

But further afield, Co-operative buildings have been targeted across East Anglia in recent weeks – including the Co-op Daily stores in Great Cornard and Halstead, and another Co-op store in Long Melford.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said they were liaising with regional police colleagues to see if there are any links between the incidents.

A spokesman for the Central England Co-operative said: “Offenders attempted to gain access to the ATM attached to the store and, in the process, damaged the frontage and inside of the store.

“The store was closed while police investigations took place and while work was undertaken to ensure that the building was structurally secure. The store reopened later on the same day.

“We thank customers and colleagues for their support and patience during this time.

“We are very aware of the major impact that ATM crime has on our customers and members and the communities in which we serve.

“We are currently working closely with the police, other retailers and ATM firms to try and help with investigations to catch those responsible and to come up with solutions to try and put a stop to this issue in the future.”