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Carpenter dragged down road hanging out of car after catching robbers in the act in Risby

Van drivers are being urged to secure their property, after a series of raids last weekend.

Vans across Bury St Edmunds and surrounding villages were targeted last Friday night, with valuable tools stolen.

Police confirmed at least four vans had been hit, however social media reports indicate a significantly higher number were targeted.

Police incident tape.. (5832878)
Police incident tape.. (5832878)

We spoke to one victim who caught thieves in the act and managed to wrestle some tools back, before being dragged down the road hanging out of the perpetrators’ vehicle.

The carpenter, who wished to remain anonymous for fear of repeat attacks, heard a noise outside his home on The Green, Risby, at about 10.10pm last Friday. He investigated and found two people taking tools out of his van, with their car parked across the drive.

He said: “I ran out and grabbed some tools back and then jumped in the passenger door of their car with them, trying to feel around for any other tools as they started driving off.

“One of them sucker punched me in my eye and I fell out of the car when they were driving about 20 miles an hour.”

The carpenter said tools worth about £1,000 were taken, while he managed to retrieve tools to about the same value from the thieves.

He was left with a bruised head from the punch, burns to his knees and feet from being dragged down the road and rash on his elbows. He also suspects he might have broken a toe.

It is believed the perpetrators drove a dark blue people carrier-type car, possibly a Volkswagen Sharan or Vauxhall Zafira.

“I think quite a few vans were hit on Friday night, but I think I’m the only one who caught them at it,” he added.

The carpenter said he ‘acted on instinct’ on discovering the robbers in the act.

“I’m not worried about injuring myself. Naturally, you think how those tools cost money and I didn’t want someone taking them. It’s only later you sit back and think ‘why didn’t I do this or that’,” he said.

“But it all happened so quickly. I was just feeling around their car in the dark, trying to find any more tools. That’s how I was hanging out as they started driving and that’s why I have got road rash.

“I didn’t even manage to see the registration plate as I fell out of the car.”

Now, he needs to replace the stolen tools – a drill, router and Skilsaw – and also plans to upgrade his van’s locks, which will cost a further £400.

“It would have been better if they had nicked the van to be honest. I’m going to upgrade my locks and alarms and hope it doesn’t happen again – that’s all I can do,” he said.

“The inconvenience is ongoing as I keep finding different things have gone. Today I have come to do a job and a tool I needed for it has been stolen. Coming up to Christmas, I could have done without this extra expense.”

Vans targeted last weekend included:

  • Byrde Close, Bury – Between 5.40pm on Friday and 8am on Saturday tools were stolen from a Citreon Berlingo van.
  • Horsecroft Road, Bury – Between 4pm and 8pm on Saturday, a van’s side doors were forced open and tools stolen.
  • Osmund Walk, Bury – Between 6pm on Friday and 9am on Saturday, a van was entered and searched. It is not yet known what was stolen.

It is believed vans in Sutton Close, Browse Close and Horringer Court were also targeted.

Suffolk Police are appealing for witnesses following the raids.

Anyone with any information should contact Suffolk Police on 101, quoting crime reference 37/69398/18, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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