Police hunt "unsuccessful and amateurish" ram raiders
12:57pm Friday 4th January 2013 in News
Police are investigating after two men drove a van into a Co-op store in Corsham last Friday in an attempted ram raid.
A blue van stolen from the Chippenham area on Christmas Eve was reversed into the front of the store on Macie Way around 11.20pm causing considerable structural damage.
Two men are believed to have tried to steal a free-standing cash machine, but left the scene empty-handed. The van was later found ditched on the nearby Freestone Way.
Detective Sergeant Simon Pope of Melksham CID said: "I would be interested to hear from anyone who saw a blue VW Transporter van in good condition parked in their neighbourhood between Christmas Eve - when it was stolen - and the evening of Thursday 3 January when the break-in took place.
"Perhaps someone saw it entering or leaving a lock-up garage or simply parked on a street.
"This was an unsuccessful and amateurish attempt to steal a cashpoint machine using a van stolen from Chippenham.
"That leads me to believe that the two men involved live locally.”
CCTV images of the raiders released by Wiltshire Police show one man wearing a distinctive striped white hooded top.
Police were alerted by residents who heard the van smash into the store. Maureen Angrove, of Macie Way, said: “Around 11.20pm I heard an almighty bang. I looked out of my son’s bedroom window and saw the van. This tall bloke in a hood jumped out of the van and tried to get in, before the van screeched off again.
“I called the police, and within a minute of putting the phone down they were here.
“You don’t expect something like this on your doorstep; I just don’t know what there were after.”
Kevin Turnbull, of nearby Hatton Way also heard the raid take place. He said: “I was sat in my front room when I heard them ram into the shop three or four times. They must have been on a destructive binge.”
A fire crew from Corsham worked for several hours into the night to make the shop safe, along with a support unit from Swindon.
The front of the shop remains boarded up, but it was reopened on Saturday serving customers from the rear doors.
Wiltshire Police are appealing for anyone who saw a car speeding away from the scene to contact them. Detective Sergeant Pope said "If anyone who has not yet come forward has any information or saw the blue van travelling to the Co-op in Macie Drive on the Katherine Park estate or another vehicle leaving the area at speed at about 11.20pm I would very much like to hear from them.
"Please call Wiltshire Police on 101 and ask for Melksham CID. Alternatively, please call Crimestoppers UK anonymously on 0800 555 111."
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