A gang attached a chain to a cash machine before dragging it from a shop using a van. The thieves had turned up at McColl’s, in Newstead, with a chainsaw and ‘variious tools’ during the early-morning raid.
Now detectives have branded the incident on Wimborne Avenue as a ‘brazen burglary’ as they look to track down the offenders – who loaded the machine into a getaway car. Staffordshire Police said witnesses witnessed a white Ford Transit van and a Volkswagen Golf park outside the shop and post office.
A gang of ‘four or five men’ were seen coming out of the vehicles in dark clothing. The raiders used a chainsaw and various other tools to get inside the store in the early hours.
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Police were called to the scene at 1.20am this morning (April 28). They said that a chain was attached to the cash machine ‘before the gang pulled the machine off the wall using the van’. The offenders then lifted the machine into the Golf and left in the direction of Trentham Road.
This morning’s robbery represents the third incident where a Stoke-on-Trent convenience store has been targeted and a cash machine taken in the past month. StokeonTrentLive reported how a stolen silver Ford Transit van was found in Abbey Hulton at around 2.15am on April 1 after five men raided the cash machine at the Co-op store on Abbots Road.
Around a couple of weeks later and a van, thought to be stolen, was driven into the Co-op on Leek New Road in Baddeley Green before the ‘ATM cash box’ was taken. During that incident – which took place on April 14 at around 2.50am – raiders got into a Volkswagen Golf and headed off in the direction of Leek.
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Officers have moved to reassure the community in Newstead following the latest incident. Detective Inspector Scott McGrath, of Staffordshire Police, said; “This was a brazen burglary that not only caused significant damage and losses to the business but has also understoodably caused concern in the local area.
“I would like to reassure all the community that we are doing we can to identify the offenders involved and are to speak to anyone who may have seen what happened.” Witnesses – or anyone with CCTV and dashcam footage – are asked to contact Staffordshire Police on 101 and quote incident 30 of April 28. alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.