Clanfield Co-operative store smashed up by ram-raiders trying to steal cash machine

A telehandler was used to rip out the cash point at The Co-operative store in Clanfield at 2.45am today. Police said the ATM was smashed out of the ground before being abandoned by the gang, who dumped the telehandler and fled in two cars. The raid was the second of its kind at the village shop and has sent shock waves through the Clanfield community.

A gang of thieves used a vehicle to rip out an ATM cash machine from the ground during the latest raid on the Co-operative in Clanfield. It’s the second raid in almost two years Copyright: JPIMedia Resell

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Councillor John Bannell, chairman of Clanfield Parish Council, was dismayed by the latest attack. He said: ‘It’s despicable.This is the second time the store has been targeted in the space of two or three years.

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‘This is most unfair and distressing for the staff at the Co-operative, who have been doing wonderful work to keep things going in the Covid-19 pandemic.

A gang of thieves used a vehicle to rip out an ATM cash machine from the ground during the latest raid on the Co-operative in Clanfield. Copyright: Other 3rd Party ‘It’s unacceptable that the staff of the Co-operative to be in any way under threat at any time.’

Clanfield’s district councillor Ken Moon said the raid could have a devastating impact on the village’s elderly community. ‘I’m absolutely horrified by what’s happened. This sort of facility, for a village like Clanfield, is so critical,’ he said.

‘This will have a significant impact on the village, particularly on the elderly residents, who rely on the store to buy their daily goods.’ The last attack on the shop, in White Dirt Lane, was in July 2018. Thieves used a forklift truck to smash through the wall of the two-storey store, causing thousands of pounds of damage.

The forklift was then set on fire and dumped outside the shop, which was closed for several days. Speaking of the latest attack, a spokesman for Hampshire police said: ‘The building is awaiting structural engineers to look at it because of the damage caused and due to that it’s not known if anything was actually taken at this stage.’ Southern Co-operative said it was aware of the situation, with a spokeswoman claiming the store could be re-opened later today.

Those with information about the crime, or who saw anything suspicious in the area at the time of the incident, are being urged to call police on 101 quoting serial number 44200155517.

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