Brazen thieves steal ATM cashpoint after smashing Co-op wall

BRAZEN thieves shocked a community after using a stolen forklift to plough into a Co-op in Clanfield before escaping with a cashpoint.

Saturday, 28th July 2018, 12:37 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th July 2018, 1:49 pm
Gemma Barthaud, 38, with her daughter Keira, nine, who live just behind the Co-op in Godwin Crescent and heard the noise. Picture: Sarah Standing (180576-9648)

The crime gang, seeking to leave no trail of evidence, then blew up the Manitou forklift used to smash the wall down before making off from the store in White Dirt Lane around 3.30am this morning.

A giant hole in the Co-op wall has been left with debris scattered across the car park following the incident '“ described by residents as like something from a '˜war zone' after a massive explosion was heard.

Fire crews from Cosham attended the scene with the blaze extinguished by 4.30am.

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Gemma Barthaud, 38, with her daughter Keira, nine, who live just behind the Co-op in Godwin Crescent and heard the noise. Picture: Sarah Standing (180576-9648)

Police were also on site and are now appealing for witnesses who may have seen a white vehicle speeding off.Residents described their horror after being woken up.

Gemma Barthaud, 38, added: '˜We were woken up by a massive bang then there was mayhem with emergency services everywhere. You don't expect this sort of thing in a quiet village like this.'

Another resident said she was woken to the sound of a bang. '˜It was really scary '“ I just heard a loud bang,' she said.

'˜I saw a tractor smash into the the wall and then load the ATM into a dump truck. They then blew up the tractor and sped off. I was worried there may be an explosion which could danger us. I phoned the police and they told us top get away from the window.

The cash point was stolen from the Co-op in Clanfield in the early hours of today Picture: Sarah Standing (180576-3178)

'˜I was worried about our safety. It was really scary to watch.'

It is not known how much money was taken.

A similar incident also took place at nearby Waterlooville Leisure Centre around midnight where thieves smashed four glass panels before getting into the building and breaking open the ATM '“ making off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

The incident angered people who turned up this morning to use the centre. Georgina Smith, 25, said: '˜I can't believes it '“ what a nightmare especially with it the school holidays and there children about. There's some real scumbags around. Hopefully they find who did it.'

Howard Broad, chief executive of the centre, said: '˜It is a shock and you don't expect to come to work and find this. It takes some nerve to do this especially when there is CCTV. It looks like they've looked at the best way of getting in before deciding to smash the external windows to get in.

'˜It's too early to tell how much money they have taken but it can't have been worth the risk as we don't have much money stored in the ATM.'

Police are investigating both incidents. Anyone with any information should  call 101 quoting 44180283769.

A Southern Co-operative spokeswoman said: '˜We can confirm that we are currently working towards opening the store on Sunday 29 July. We would like to thank customers for their understanding.'