Mendlesham shopkeeper says “whole building shook” when ram raiders targeted store

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The manager of a shop in Mendlesham has described how the “whole building shook” when ram raiders targeted his store in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Alex McIntyre, 27, who lives above the Premier Store in Old Market Street, said he was woken up at about 2.45am by a “large bang”.

He said he looked out of the window to see what was going on, and watched a car disappear under the eves of the roof, before hearing another loud bang.

Ram raiders used a silver Vauxhall Zafira — registration KL55 TVP — which had been stolen from the village, to reverse into the front door, gain entry, and steal tobacco.

Police believe the incident could be linked to another ram raid which took place later that morning at a business premises Schreiber Road, Ipswich at around 3.50am.

The vehicle was recovered from Landseer Park, Ipswich, today, police confirmed.

I had no idea what was going on

Alex McIntyre, Premier Store manager, Mendlesham

“I had no idea what was going on,” he told the Diss Express.

“I thought it was an accident and that someone needed help. I got into my dressing gown and ran down the stairs bare footed to the front.

“There was a car in the middle of the road with the lights off and engine running. The front door was in the shop and the glass from it smashed.”

He said he encountered three men — one of them ran out of the shop — while the other two pushed Mr McIntyre out of the way after making off with tobacco.

“I was obviously in a bit of shock but I had the presence of mind to get the number plate and call the police,” he said.

“Lots have people have said ‘this does not happen here, it’s Mendlesham’ to which I respond it does not matter how isolated you are — if people want to find you and take advantage of you, they will.

“It has hit the business really badly.

“I was selling newspapers from the driveway on Tuesday. We took about £50 in about 7 hours which is about a fifteenth of what we should be taking.”

Mr McIntyre said a temporary door had been fitted and the store was trading as normal today.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information on the two raids.

Call Bury St Edmunds CID on 101 quoting 37/58967/16 (Mendlesham) or 37/58965/16 (Ipswich).