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‘I’m gutted but I’m grateful everyone is safe’ - Owner of Reepham post office thanks community following ram raid on cash point

PUBLISHED: 18:00 25 April 2018 | UPDATED: 19:51 25 April 2018

Douglas Johnson runs the Convenience Store and Post Office in Reepham. Picture: Ian Burt

Douglas Johnson runs the Convenience Store and Post Office in Reepham. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

The owner of a post office has thanked the community for their support after his shop was targeted by ram raiders.

A cash machine was stolen in a ram raid at the covenience store in Reepham. Picture: Ian BurtA cash machine was stolen in a ram raid at the covenience store in Reepham. Picture: Ian Burt

It comes following a raid at Johnson’s of Reepham , on Market Place, which saw a JCB plough into the front of the building to remove a cash machine, before the vehicle was set alight.

Run by husband and wife team, Douglas and Carole Johnson, the shop has been in the family for more than 50 years.

It was previously run by Mr Johnson’s parents, who moved to Norfolk from Liverpool half a decade ago.

The cash point was originally installed in response to the closure of the HSBC bank in the Market Place in 2015 and has been in place since January last year.

A cash machine was stolen in a ram raid at the covenience store in Reepham. Picture: Ian BurtA cash machine was stolen in a ram raid at the covenience store in Reepham. Picture: Ian Burt

Mr Johnson said: “We did everything we could to cover what the insurance said we had to do. We went through quite a bit of expense to do that too. We are now wondering if it’s worth even putting one in again.”

Police officers were called at 3.45am on Wednesday, April 25 to reports of a burglary where suspects used a JCB to remove the cash machine from outside the building before loading it onto what is believed to be a flat bed truck.

The JCB was left at the scene and set alight and was later found to have be stolen from a property in North Tuddenham.

Firefighters from Aylsham and Reepham were despatched at 3.49am to the scene to extinguish the blaze.

A cash machine was stolen in a ram raid at the covenience store in Reepham. Picture: Ian BurtA cash machine was stolen in a ram raid at the covenience store in Reepham. Picture: Ian Burt

Residents said they were shocked and Alexander Harper, of Church Street, managed to record footage of the incident after he was woken by the early morning drama.

Mr Johnson added: “I’m gutted but I’m grateful everyone is safe.

“It’s such a sad thing that the business my parents built up, and which I’ve helped to move on, gets hit by people who have robbed off people who work hard.

“We live in a lovely community and nothing really happens like this here but at least it will bring us all closer together now.”

Moments after Reepham post office ram raid. Picture: ALEXANDER HARPERMoments after Reepham post office ram raid. Picture: ALEXANDER HARPER

Mr Johnson estimated that between £30,000 to £40,000 worth of damage had been done and expected most of the shop front to be rebuilt.

Police have launched an investigation following the incident and officers are keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed anything or has information concerning it.

Witnesses should contact Norfolk Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting reference 36/24189/18.

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