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Co-op in Faversham Road, Lenham, reopens after cash machine stolen in dramatic ram-raid

A village convenience store which had its cash machine stolen in a dramatic raid yesterday has now reopened.

Police were called to the Co-op in Faversham Road, Lenham, near Maidstone at 2am on Wednesday after it was reported a Mitsubishi Shogun had been used to steal an ATM from inside the premises.

The car is understood to have rammed the front of the shop and pulled out the machine using strapping, before dragging it along the road and over the A20 towards Doddington, where it was left after a quantity of cash had been removed.

The Shogun was later found alight in Flint Lane before being extinguished by fire crews at around 3.30am.

The store was closed throughout the day on Wednesday but is now welcoming shoppers again.

District Commander, Chief Inspector Ray Quiller said: "This crime has caused considerable disruption to this local business and the village community.

"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, saw the vehicle travelling into the village or leaving pulling the cash machine behind it."

The scene at the Lenham Coop on Wednesday. Picture: Chris Davey. (6421563)
The scene at the Lenham Coop on Wednesday. Picture: Chris Davey. (6421563)

The raid came just seven weeks after a gang used a boom lift to wrench out an ATM from the Sainsbury's in Headcorn.

However, they are believed to have in fact made off empty handed, as those living and working nearby said the cash machine had been empty and not dispensing money prior to the burglary.

Anyone who has information or who has CCTV or dash cam footage that a may assist the investigation into the Lenham robbery is asked to call Kent Police on 01622 604100 quoting reference 9-0074.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity ‘Crimestoppers in Kent’ anonymously on 0800 555111.

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