Suffolk

Trimley, Lavenham and Fordham Co-op and McColl's stores targeted in raids

McColl's ram-raid, Trimley St Martin
Image caption A vehicle was driven into the front of the Trimley St Martin store, smashing glass and the area below the windows

Police are investigating three failed cash machine raids at convenience stores across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire overnight.

Ram-raiders hit McColl's in Trimley St Martin near Felixstowe at about 23:30.

The Co-op Food store on High Street in Lavenham was targeted at 00:15, followed by the Co-op Food in Fordham, near Newmarket, at 01:20.

It follows raids at East of England Co-op stores before Christmas, with £40,000 being offered for information.

Suffolk Police said it was linking the raids at Trimley and Lavenham overnight, while Cambridgeshire Police was "keeping an open mind" about the Fordham raid being linked to the ones over the border.

Image caption The Co-operative Food store on High Street, Lavenham was the second of three stores where failed attempts were made to steal cash machines

Police said a silver Subaru Impreza was reversed into the McColl's on High Road in Trimley, but the car flipped over.

Four males dressed in black fled in a black Mercedes estate driven by a fifth person.

In Lavenham, four men forced entry to the store using crowbars and sledgehammers. They then attempted to open the cash machine with the sledgehammers, but they left the scene in a black Mercedes, which appeared to be in convoy with an Audi.

Det Supt Andy Smith said: "These offences form part of a pattern of organised crime which is occurring across our region."

The other Co-op on Lavenham's High Street, run by the East of England group rather than the separate Food group, was raided in the early hours of 21 December, which led to the East of England group doubling its reward for information from £20,000.

Other ram-raids have taken place at East of England Co-op stores in Dedham, Halstead and Manningtree in Essex, and Great Cornard in Suffolk.

The store in Dedham, which was hit on 10 December, has moved temporarily into a barn while repairs are carried out.

Image caption The Co-op Village Shop further down the hill on Lavenham's High Street had a car abandoned inside it on 21 December
Image copyright Dedham Parish Council
Image caption Repairs continue at Dedham's Co-op and the store has temporarily moved into the Duchy Barn in the village following the 10 December ram-raid

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