OUTRAGED residents have demanded detectives ‘throw the book’ at a gang of thugs who ransacked a pensioner’s post office over the weekend.
Burglars, armed with garden shears, raided the post office in Park Lane, Bedhampton, on Saturday evening.
With scarves covering their faces, the trio of men clambered through a kitchen window of the living area attached to the business before threatening an elderly man and his daughter with the garden shears.
The thieves managed to steal £20,000 worth of cash, cigarettes and jewellery from the post office and residential property attached.
Now residents living nearby have told of their shock and anger at the crime and are demanding justice for the post office owner, known locally as ‘Harry’.
Retired couple George and Audrey Grasmede have lived next to the post office for 23 years and were horrified by the news.
George, 88, said: ‘It is disgusting.Nothing like this has ever happened here. Harry is a lovely man, he really is.’
Mrs Grasmede added: ‘For a three men to attack somebody who is getting on in years is loathsome.’
John Lane, 68, lives near the post office and is a regular visitor to the store.
The dad-of-three said: ‘Harry and his family are wonderful. My wife, Fran, spoke to them today and they’re still really shaken up by the whole thing.
‘I just don’t understand who would do something like this. They’ve got to be very hard-up and desperate for a few bob to scare the pants off an old man and his family, who are trying to earn a good honest living.’
Mr Lane added the incident brought back memories of his traumatic time as a shopkeeper at the former West Dean Stores, in West Street, Bedhampton, when a gang of thieves forced his family to quit running the shop after breaking in numerous times.
‘This has brought back all of those memories,’ he said. ‘I don’t know what I would have done if I was confronted by three yobs threatening my family. I would liked to have had a gun in my hands so I could have shot them. I have no sympathy for people like that.’
Hampshire police is investigating the incident as an aggravated burglary and are appealing for anyone with information about it to contact them
A spokeswoman for the force said: ‘Three men wearing scarves covering their faces climbed through the kitchen window of the living area attached to the post office.
‘They threatened the man and woman who were at the property with garden shears and demanded cash and jewellery.
‘The suspects left with three post office mail bags containing cash, cigarettes and jewellery totalling about £20,000.'
The men spoke to each other in a foreign language and were described as:
Suspect one: white, 5ft 2ins to 5ft 3ins tall, of slim build, aged about 20. He was wearing a dark grey/ black hoody, grey jogging bottoms, leather gloves and a patterned scarf
Suspect two: white. 5ft 6ins to 5ft 7ins tall, of slim build, aged about 20. He was wearing a dark hoody, grey jogging bottoms and leather gloves
Suspect three: White, 5ft 10ins to 5ft 11ins, of heavier build than the other two, also aged about 20. He was wearing all black.
Witnesses or those with information on the crime can call police on 101, quoting crime reference number 44180395598
The post office was closed today and is due to re-open tomorrow, according to a sign in the door.