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Ashford: Bomb disposal team called to Co-op in Faversham Road, Kennington

A bomb disposal team descended on a Co-op store after thieves raided the shop in the early hours.

Police taped off the shop in Faversham Road, Kennington, after the cash machine was targeted at about 4am.

It is believed thieves used explosives to damage the ATM and the bomb disposal team was called in to help safely remove it.

The bomb team at the scene
The bomb team at the scene

Residents reported hearing a loud bang in the early hours.

Police say they are searching for two men in a black car following the raid.

Witnesses reported seeing two men get into a black car, believed to be similar to a Volkswagen Passat, and drive away shortly after.

A Ministry of Defence Explosive Ordnance Disposal team assessed the scene and Faversham Road was closed as a precaution as they worked out how the cash machine was damaged and removed.

After it was confirmed the road was safe, it reopened at about 3.30pm.

Police at the scene in Faversham Road
Police at the scene in Faversham Road

Detective Inspector James Derham said: "While investigators are pursuing a number of lines of inquiry, we are appealing for witnesses who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area, or saw a vehicle fitting the description reported travelling into the area."

Police say cash was stolen from the machine.

An army spokesman said: "The bomb disposal team was called out today by Kent Police to assist with an ongoing investigation.

"No action was required and the team have subsequently left the site.”

The scene outside the Co-op
The scene outside the Co-op

Mary Brown, who lives in Burton Road, says she regularly uses the store.

"I heard a bang during the night but thought something had just fallen over in the house," she said.

"I use the Co-op all the time - it has lovely staff."

In November, thieves smashed their way through the front of the building, swiping scratch cards, alcohol and cigarettes at about 2.30am.

It came just a month after brave teenager Brandon Hook, 16, faced off with a hammer-wielding robber outside the store.

He stepped in when a member of staff was threatened with the hammer.

Anyone who has information or who has CCTV or dashcam footage that may assist the investigation is asked to call police on 01843 222289, quoting reference 07-0140.

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