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One Stop in High Halden partially reopens one day after cash machine raid

By Georgia Woolf

A boarded up convenience store has partially reopened with makeshift signage just a day after it was targeted in an overnight raid.

The One Stop in High Halden suffered extensive damage after a 4x4 was reversed into the building multiple times yesterday morning in an attempt to pull out the ATM.

But now manager Jay Karthik has reopened the business as he says he "cannot let the locals down".

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The shop has reopened. Picture: Cllr Clair Bell
The shop has reopened. Picture: Cllr Clair Bell

Shoppers are unable to enter the store due to safety concerns but staff will help to gather the supplies for them.

Mr Karthik said: "We have reopened the shop for the village as there are a lot of elderly people who can't travel.

"I felt really bad because I saw a bus stop full of people waiting to get the bus to Tenterden and Ashford to get their shopping.

"The bus comes every two hours and I didn't think it was fair on them.

"It's a temporary measure until we get back to normal.

Damage after the raid in High Halden

"We can't let our locals down, it's the only shop in the village and people depend on it."

The shop has been boarded-up and an 'open as usual' sign has been written in large lettering on the front of the store.

Officers say a Cherokee Jeep reversed into the front of the shop in the early hours of Thursday and then strapping was used in an attempt to pull out the ATM.

The 4x4 then left the scene along Church Hill and was later found on fire in Harbourne Lane.

The thieves did not get away with the cash machine.

Neighbour Gillian Bryant witnessed the raid and told KentOnline that it was one of the scariest things she had ever seen.

The vehicle used in the ram raid, which was torched soon after in Harbourne Lane
The vehicle used in the ram raid, which was torched soon after in Harbourne Lane

She said: “I heard some voices outside, I jumped out of bed to see what was going on and looked out the window.

"I saw a car reversing in the road and the next thing I knew it was reversing into the shop.

"There was a massive smash, the car proceeded to go back and forth several times.

"It went on for five minutes and the whole house was shaking, it was very scary.

"It was one of the scariest things I have ever seen. I picked up the phone and called 999 straight away."

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 46/34164/19.

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