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Mid Sussex village store ram-raided by cash machine thieves
Four balaclava-clad men ram-raided a village store to steal a cash machine.
The gang, who are thought to have used a Cherokee Jeep and a flat bed van, smashed into the Co-op in Bolnore Village, near Haywards Heath, at 12.25am yesterday.
Power to the area had been lost two hours earlier.
Residents reported that the village’s main shopping square had been quiet on Sunday evening with the shops closing as usual.
Some time after 10pm the power went out, plunging the square into darkness.
Residents were later woken by the sound of a vehicle ramming through the store’s glass doors.
Brian Delahunty, who lives nearby, was just going to bed when he heard the commotion.
He said: “I heard a bang and then lots of voices.
“They were shouting what sounded like ‘Come on, come on’. They were obviously in a hurry.
“They all piled into the vehicles and then smashed through a gate and drove across the field.”
Speaking about the power cut, he added: “I thought nothing of it at the time and it could have just been a coincidence.
“But it is a bit strange. I guess it would have cut the CCTV and it was very dark.”
A police spokesman said that a Santander cash machine was taken from inside the store. It is not yet clear how much money was in the machine.
Detective Constable Penny Furtado, from West Sussex CID, said: “We are grateful to local residents who heard suspicious noises and called 999. “Unfortunately, the suspects had fled the scene with the contents of the cash machine when officers arrived.
“Local inquiries are ongoing and CCTV from the store and surrounding area is currently being viewed.”
Anyone with details can call 101.