Monday, 21 October 2019

Raiders smash into shop for second time in weeks

Raiders smash into shop for second time in weeks

BURGLARS stole about £2,000 worth of goods in the second raid on a newsagent’s shop in Henley in three weeks.

They smashed the large front window of Station News in Station Road and took cigarettes and bottles of spirits before leaving in a stolen car.

The raid happened at about 1.45am on Thursday last week and came only 17 days after a similar incident also in the early hours.

It was also the fourth such incident at the shop in 18 months.

The burglars smashed a large hole in the window, which is more than an inch thick. The noise woke residents of the neighbouring flats who called the police and shop owner Yogarajah Rajmohan, who lives in Emmer Green.

Police set up a cordon around the front of the shop, where shards of glass littered the pavement and forsenics officers were called in.

Mr Rajmohan’s brother and shop manager Rajkumar Yogarajah arrived about an hour later.

Neighbour Steve Ludlow, who made cups of tea for the officers, said: “My husband said he had heard a massive bang and seeing the damage, it must have taken some force to do that.” Later in the day, the debris was cleared and a wooden board placed over the damaged window.

Mr Yogarajah said: “This keeps happening and whenever I am called I think it is happening again.

“I closed the shop myself at about 11pm on Wednesday and put the alarm on and then I was called at about 1.45pm to say it had been broken into again. I couldn’t believe it. This time it was the side of the shop where the glass is very thick. Before people have tried to get in through the door.”

Mr Yogarajah said he had provided officers with CCTV footage but that it was not clear from the images what the raiders used to smash the window.

However, the police were able to track down their getaway car from the licence plate and found it had been reported stolen. 

Mr Yogarajah said the break-in disrupted business for the day.

He said: “We couldn’t deliver the papers and it was very difficult for us to explain to some of the customers what had happened.”

He said he was now considering installing shutters at the shop but they would have to go on the inside as they are forbidden on the exterior because the building is in the Henley conservation area.

In the last raid on September 3, burglars stole about £7,000 worth of goods and cash after they hurled a large chunk of masonry through a glass panel in the front door of the shop. The two masked men struck at about 3.20am, triggering the alarm in the process, then used a crowbar to break into a locked cabinet behind the counter.

The pair, who were carrying a large blue and white spotted bag, made off with cigarettes, several bottles of whisky and some money from the till.

In December, the door of the shop was damaged in an attempted break-in.

The culprits smashed the bottom pane of glass in the door but they didn’t get in as a heavy magazine rack had been rolled across the doorway and couldn’t be moved from the outside.

In February 2018, masked raiders stole cigarettes worth £5,000 and 10 bottles of spirits from the shop.

Thames Valley Police are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to call their non-emergency number, 101.

• Four men from Slough, aged 29, 39, 41 and 43 have been arrested.

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