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Ram-raiders fail in bid to steal store's safe

WOULD-Be thieves stole a JCB digger and drove it across country for 10 miles before attempting an audacious ram-raid on a store in Canterbury. They used the machine to smash their way through the outside rear wall of the new Courts store in Wincheap in a bid to get at a safe.

The daring raid took place at 9.15pm on Saturday when the alarm was triggered in the Paul Simons curtains department.

The digger caused severe damage to the building estimated at thousands of pounds. But the thieves abandoned the machine and fled empty-handed after failing to drag the safe out of an office.

A spokesman for Courts said: "It was obviously a pretty ambitious effort but we just don't keep much cash on the premises because most of the transactions are done by debit or credit card or through credit arrangements."

Police say the JCB had earlier been stolen from Denne Builders in Bramling, near Wingham. It had been driven towards the store across a field, through a perimeter fence and down a bank.

Police are urging anyone who saw the JCB on route to Canterbury, which may have used some of the back lanes around Aylesham and Adisham, to contact them. They also believe the thieves may have had a large getaway vehicle, possibly a 4x4 parked nearby.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious is asked to contact police on 01227 817154 or Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555 111.

Kentish Gazette, December 13

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