Big haul for post office ram raiders

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Ram raiders driving a stolen car smashed their way into the front doors of a shop before crashing the vehicle into a cashpoint and stealing the money inside.

The group of four thieves drove a Vauxhall Astra through the glass front doors of Wilkinsons in Eaton Walk, Rushden, at around 1.20am yesterday.

Once they had got inside the store the raiders drove the car into a cash machine by the Post Office branch which is part of the shop and stole a “significant” amount of money.

The group then left the shop, leaving the car behind.

Police said the car which was used in the ram raid was stolen from Avis Rent A Car in Northampton over the recent bank holiday weekend.

Police said the ram raid caused extensive damage.

Yesterday Wilkinsons opened later than usual while the front door was repaired but went on to open and trade as normal.

But the Post Office area of the store was shut, with a notice posted telling customers that it was closed until further notice.

In a statement the company said: “Wilkinsons confirms that, in the early hours of yesterday its Rushden store was the subject of a ram raid targeting the ATM machine which forms part of the Post Office concession at the store. Money was taken from the ATM and considerable damage occurred to the store frontage.”

And a spokesman for the company said: “Police are investigating and we cannot provide any further details at this time.

“The damage to the store meant that we had to delay opening for a couple of hours while we secured the frontage and ensured the property was made safe for our team members and customers. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused to our early morning customers.”

Elaine Buckby, of Mrs B’s Sandwich Emporium in High Street, Rushden, said: “You don’t expect it somewhere like here, really.

“One of my girls went down there yesterday morning and it was shut.

“It worries me because Rushden is fairly quiet, you would expect something like this somewhere bigger.”