Raid forces Thetford shop owner to end service

Mark Westley Photography Cobra Domestic Appliances in Thetford shutting its paypoint counter due to a robbery; owner Roy Brame. ANL-141111-230609009
Mark Westley Photography Cobra Domestic Appliances in Thetford shutting its paypoint counter due to a robbery; owner Roy Brame. ANL-141111-230609009
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A business owner in Thetford who runs a vital Pay Point service in the town has announced he will close it after a recent robbery made him fear for his staff’s safety.

Owner of Cobra Domestic Appliances Roy Brame is closing the Pay Point, where residents can pay their bills and rent, because he is worried about the amount of cash which can be stored in the machine and the potenital for it to become a target for thieves.

Mr Brame said his wife was alone in the shop on Saturday (November 8) dealing with a customer when a young man ran in, snatched a 32in television and ran out again.

Despite praising the quick reactions of the police, who caught the suspect within hours, Mr Brame said he now feels uncomfortable keeping the Pay Point, which can take between £3,000 and £6,000 a day, in the shop.

“We are having to do away with a service in the town because of these idiots,” he said.

“I am not happy ever leaving my wife here on her own again, not with that sort of cash in the shop. For me, it is to prevent anything happening to staff - I dare not leave them there alone with that sort of thing happening.”

Mr Brame took the Pay Point on around four years ago after a previous point in the town shut, saying he did it ‘as a service to the people’.

There are several other Pay Points in the town, but Mr Brame thinks the loss of the town centre point at Cobra will be inconvenient for the 40-odd people who use the machine every day.

“A lot of people use the service, but the commission we get is very small,” he said.

“We are a small firm and cannot afford to have a member of staff on all the time to watch the machine.”

A spokesman for Pay Point said: “When a point closes, the company sends out a regional representative to assess how much business is done by the shop.

“Depending on their findings they would decide they have sufficient provision in the area, or would work to identify an alternative site.

“At the moment there are quite a number around Thetford and the Forest Heath area.”