Sunday, 22 September 2019

Another smash and grab raid at newsagent’s shop

Another smash and grab raid at newsagent’s shop

BURGLARS stole about £7,000 worth of goods and cash from a newsagent’s shop in Henley.

They hurled a large chunk of masonry through a glass panel in the front door of Station News in Station Road and made off with cigarettes, several bottles of whisky and some money from the till.

It was the third such incident at the shop in little over 18 months.

The two masked men struck at about 3.20am on Tuesday, triggering an alarm in the process, then used a crowbar to break into a locked cabinet behind the counter.

The pair were carrying a large blue and white spotted bag to load their haul into but discarded this and took one of the shop’s cardboard boxes instead.

Owner Yogarajah Rajmohan, his son Lavan Rajmohan and nephew Agash Rajkumar, from Emmer Green, were alerted at home by the burglar alarm company and drove over immediately.

By the time they arrived, the culprits had already gone.

They called the police, who arrived at about 5am and spent more than an hour scouring the premises for evidence.

Later in the day, officers knocked at neighbouring homes to ask the residents if they had seen or heard anything. The business was shut for several hours until the door could be boarded up and the broken glass swept up.

A steady stream of regular customers had to be turned away and many expressed sympathy for the family, who have run the shop for about 17 years.

The raiders, who were only on the scene for a few minutes, were caught on CCTV but were wearing masks as well as gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints. The footage has been given to the police. A similar incident occurred in February last year, when masked raiders broke in through the same panel and made off with £5,000 in cigarettes and spirits.

Another attempt was made in December but the culprits failed as a magazine rack had been pushed across the doorway as a precaution.

Mr Rajmohan, who experienced similar raids when he ran a shop in High Wycombe, then installed electric security shutters but these stopped working shortly before the burglary on Monday.

They were due to be fixed on the afternoon before but the repair company pulled out at the last minute when its van broke down.

Mr Rajkumar was running his uncle’s shop on the previous night and shut up at about 11.30pm before going home.

He said: “I only managed to get a few hours of sleep before the alarm went off and I had to get back down here. I’ve still managed to do the normal paper round so I’m pretty tired.

“It’s a real shame that it happened at the one time the shutters weren’t working. We’ll just have to try to move on and learn from this.”

Mr Rajmohan jnr said: “We got here as soon as we could but they’d already gone. We then had to wait quite a long time for the police to arrive, although we appreciate that they’re very busy.

“They took most of our cigarettes as well as a couple of alcohol bottles and cash. It’s a horrible feeling to know that this has happened again.

“The police spent 90 minutes looking over the premises but there’s only so much they can do.

“You don’t normally associate Henley with burglaries but businesses and homes need to be aware that this has happened and take precautions to protect themselves.”

Witnesses or anyone with infomratin is asked to call the Thames Valley Police non-emergency number, 101

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