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‘There were terrific bangs’ - Wells resident describes the moment she woke to hear ram raiders smash through the wall of Co-op supermarket

PUBLISHED: 15:17 17 July 2017 | UPDATED: 14:03 18 July 2017

A scene of crime officer working outside the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells, that was hit by ram raiders in the early hours of Monday morning. Picture: Ian Burt

A scene of crime officer working outside the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells, that was hit by ram raiders in the early hours of Monday morning. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

A resident has described the moment she heard ram raiders smash a hole in the wall of a supermarket in a small north Norfolk coastal town during the early hours of Monday morning.

Ram raiders have hit the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt Ram raiders have hit the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

Sue Vertigan lives close to the Co-op store on Polka Road, Wells and said she heard a series of loud bangs as the suspects drove a JCB teleporter into the building wall.

“I woke up in the early hours and I heard a heavy vehicle coming down the road,” she said. “At first I thought it was a bin lorry but it was too early for that and then I started to think is sounded like a JCB.

“All of a sudden there were these terrific bangs. I must have heard at least five, maybe ten. I opened my window and I could hear people shouting and that was when I turned to my husband and asked if he thought someone was raiding the Co-op.

“We didn’t hear very much after that and I didn’t see anything as it seemed safer to stay indoors. I think I first heard the vehicle just before 3am. They must have been gone by 3.15am.”

Ram raiders have hit the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt Ram raiders have hit the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

After the suspects smashed the hole in the wall they used the teleporter to remove a cash machine from within the building and loaded it into a 4x4 truck, which then fled the scene. Norfolk police believe a dark coloured hatchback vehicle was also used.

A spokesperson for Central England Co-operative said: “An incident took place this morning, Monday, July 17, at our Wells food store, in Polka Road, while it was closed. Offenders removed the ATM from the store and, in the process, damaged an exterior wall.

“The store is currently closed while police investigations continue and work is being undertaken to ensure that the building is structurally secure.”

Neither the police nor the Central England Co-operative has commented on how much money was stolen.

A PCSO stands outside the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells, that was hit by ram raiders in the early hours of Monday morning. Picture: Ian Burt A PCSO stands outside the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells, that was hit by ram raiders in the early hours of Monday morning. Picture: Ian Burt

The JCB had been stolen from Mooney, a demolition company based in Hockering, near Dereham. A spokesperson for the company said: “We know very little about the incident. It was our JCB and it was on hire but it was stolen from the people who had hired it.”

Officers are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed either incident, or anyone with information.

People should contact DS Andy Garner or DC Sam Harris at Norfolk Constabulary on 101.

Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Ram raiders have hit the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt Ram raiders have hit the Co-op store on Polka Road in Wells. Picture: Ian Burt

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