SHOCKED business owners have told of their concern after arriving for work and finding the aftermath of a suspected raid at a Co-op.
Police are at the scene in Hambledon Road, in Denmead, this morning. Forensics officers are combing the debris strewn outside the shop.
Rachel Emery, 40, runs Gino’s barbershop two doors down from the Co-op. She saw what had happened on Facebook before turning up for work this morning.
She said: ‘We got here about quarter to nine and I thought “oh my god”, it’s a massive shock.
‘I rang my boss to tell him what had happened because business will be a no-go for us today.
‘We don’t take card so walk-in customers use the cash point at the Co-op to get money out.
‘There’s a Post Office over the road in the other Co-op but that’s closed at the moment.
‘It’s all becoming a bit of a nightmare here, it seems like small shops and areas are being targeted.
‘There’s been a lot of thefts lately, even just things like meat from the Co-op.’
She added her business recently got extra CCTV due to worries about thefts.
Police were called at 1.38am this morning, with a digger left at the scene. Part of the cash machine, including cash boxes, had been stolen.
A Ford Transit van, thought to have been used in the burglary, was later recovered near Old Winchester Hill, Hampshire police said.
No arrests have been made at this time.
Sergeant Stuart Gilmour said: ‘We know that this will cause some concern to the local community.
‘I would like to reassure residents that we take such incidents seriously. An investigation has begun and officers from the neighbourhood policing team will be patrolling the area.’
Sandy Barnard is the owner of Barnard’s Cafe, one door down from the Co-op.
The 54-year-old’s business has been on Hambledon Road for 25 years and she said she feels unnerved by what has happened.
She said: ‘It’s very sad and it does make you worry.
‘It seems that thieves are targeting small villages and rural areas.
‘There’s been quite a lot of incidents around here recently, it makes you nervous to go out.
‘Obviously this has been done for the cash point and we don’t have one, but it still makes you feel anxious.
‘I haven’t seen anything this big happen though.’