A suspect accused of ram-raiding a newsagent before making off with £7,000 worth of tobacco has been charged.
The 38-year-old’s arrest on November 15 follows a police investigation into an incident at a corner shop in Canterbury.
A police spokesperson said: “On 28 October 2023, police were alerted to reports of a car having been used to smash the front window of a business in St Stephen’s Road, and of cigarettes and tobacco to the approximate value of £7,000 having been stolen.
“The previous day, a set of vehicle keys had allegedly been stolen from a Canterbury residential property, along with the car for which they were used.”
Speaking to KentOnline after discovering their shop had been the victim of the ram-raid burglary, owners Richard and Anne Manuel said they were in “disbelief”.
“We were just in total disbelief at the beginning, we couldn't believe that someone had done this.”
“We’re only a small outlet – I don’t think they realise the damage they cause because it has stopped us trading now because we can’t allow customers to come through the door because it's not safe.
“My wife and I have been running the store for nearly 40 years and we’ve never had anything like this before.
“We’re nearing retirement now so it's quite upsetting that we’re ending our years at the newsagents with an event like this.”
Police say that around the same time of the burglary, number plates were reported stolen from a Faversham car park.
It is further alleged that on 14 November, cash, a bank card and a passport were stolen from a house in Canterbury, before the card was later used to pay for items at various supermarkets in Canterbury.
Barham, also wanted in connection with reports of an attempted break-in at a house in Conyer, near Sittingbourne on October 7, was charged with five counts of theft, four counts of fraud and one count of attempted burglary from a dwelling.
He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Canterbury Crown Court on 18 December.