Ram raid 'soul-destroying' says Nisa manager
- Credit: Daniel Mason
The manager of a convenience store targeted by balaclava clad ram raiders said the damage caused is “soul-destroying”.
Debris and bricks were piled on the pavement after the gang smashed into the shopfront before stealing a cash machine from Nisa on Park Street, Chatteris last night (Thursday).
“At about 10.45pm, I heard a bang thinking it was an accident on the road. I then saw a truck reverse about four to five times into the shop,” said the manager, who asked not to be named.
“They ran in the shop, grabbed the cash machine and put it in the van.
“I rang police while they (the culprits) were still here; it took four minutes to raid the shop and then leave.”
The manager believes four males were responsible for the break-in; neighbours say a truck, a van and an Audi were involved.
One witness said a saw was used to cut a strap which dragged the cash machine through the shop.
“The gang wore balaclavas; they left one vehicle behind as the van took the cash machine and the others jumped in the Audi,” the manager said.
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“It’s the first time something like this has happened in my one-and-a-half years as manager.
“There’s lots of damage to the shopfront; it’s soul-destroying.”
Cllr Ian Benney, freeholder of the store, thinks the damage will cost “tens of thousands of pounds” to repair.
“It’s a shock,” he said.
“My real concern is for the tenant, and the damage will head into the tens of thousands, more than there was in the cash machine.
“This is on another level.”
Cllr Benney, who is uncertain when the shop will reopen, has already received messages from local businessmen keen to help repair the damage.
One resident said the ram raid was “absolutely dreadful.
“You feel for those working hard during a difficult time for everybody.”
Cambridgeshire Police, who have closed off part of the area, say this and another ram raid in Milton Road, Cambridge just hours later may be linked.
But the Nisa manager hopes that the shop can reopen soon.
"When we rebuild, I hope local people will come back,” he added.
“It’s about the community so hopefully people don’t forget us.”