Brazen thieves use a digger to carve ATM out of Havant Co-op store
THIEVES who targeted a convenience store in the early hours of this morning used a digger to get cash out of the ATM.
The Welcome store in Snowberry Crescent, Denvilles, was the target of a ram raid at 4.30am.
According to the store owner, the thieves used the digger to carve out the entire wall of the ATM, before taking the cash inside.
Digger tracks that have carved up the field over the road indicate the vehicle may have been taken from a nearby building site.
The store is closed and police tape has sealed off access to the car park.
Store owner Richard Dance says he is devastated by what’s happened.
He said: ‘It’s just unbelievable.
‘I’m really sad, knowing that their actions have taken away a vital community facility, especially so close to Christmas.
‘We will be working as hard as we can to get the store open for our customers – but in the meantime I can only apologise for the inconvenience caused.’
The Welcome store is a franchised branch of the Southern Co-operative.
Resident Maria Pegden, 64, lives next to the store.
She was woken up by the carnage outside and was one of many people to call the police.
‘I could see a truck, and then something was dropped onto the back of it. They sped off and left the digger running outside,’ she said.
'Apparently there was another attempt to steal the ATM last year.
‘The police arrived on the scene very quickly.’
Maria was visited by a staff member from the store earlier today.
She said: ‘They came to check on me after speaking to the police, which was very nice of them.
‘I’m lucky that they didn’t lose control of the digger and damage my house too.
‘It’s a shame that this has happened because it’s a lovely little shop; I feel sorry for the people who work there.’
Officers are now appealing for witnesses to the incident.
A police spokesman said: ‘The incident took place between 4.33am and 4.41am Tuesday December 17 at The Co-op on Snowberry Crescent.
‘A large digger was stolen from a nearby building site and used to cause extensive damage to the shop front and pull the ATM out of the front of the building.
‘The ATM was then dropped into the rear of a waiting van which was driven away.
‘The digger from the building site was left at the scene of the burglary.
‘If you noticed anything suspicious or have any information that could help our investigation, please call 101, quoting 44190452099.’