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Headley community shop targeted by thieves again

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A thief has once again targeted the Headley community shop – but this time left empty handed after being thwarted by a new rolling shutter.

The shop, in Thornford Road, was broken in to in June last year, when heartless thieves smashed their way through the glass front door with a sledgehammer and stole hundreds of pounds worth of tobacco and cigarettes.

And on Thursday night, the shop was once again the target of an attack, with CCTV footage showing an individual breaking the new toughened glass door with an ice pick-style weapon before being unable to get past the metal shutter that was installed after the last break in.

Serena Coventry said the break in was "gutting"
Serena Coventry said the break in was "gutting"

The scene was discovered by volunteers, who also spotted spots of blood on the floor.

These were quickly covered with coffee cups to preserve the scene, and will now be analysed by police – leading to some optimism that the perpetrator this time round could be caught.

Serena Coventry, who volunteers at the shop, said: “It’s gutting, absolutely gutting.

This is the second time the shop has been targeted
This is the second time the shop has been targeted

“We work hard, we don’t make a massive profit – just enough to keep going and they come along and do this and we end up with the bill again.

“We thought by having the shutter there they wouldn’t bother but obviously they thought twice.”

A raffle organised by Ms Coventry after the last break in helped to raise the £900 needed for the shutter, and it remains to be seen whether it will need to be replaced.

Javaid Iqbal, another volunteer, added: “The saving grace is that nothing was stolen.

Volunteers after the first break in last June
Volunteers after the first break in last June

“It just disrupts sales and the operation of the shop but the community has been extremely good.”

Volunteers spoke after the first break in that it was “quite depressing” that the thieves appeared to be familiar with the shop, having headed straight to the back where the cigarettes were kept.

Chair of the shop’s committee Carol-Anne Rhatigan said at the time: “It’s somebody that knew where they were, which is quite depressing.

“For me, it’s upsetting that it’s somebody that comes into the shop.

“It could be somebody you talk to all the time, you just don’t know. It’s a horrible feeling.”

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary said: “We were called at 11.56pm on Thursday, April 21, to a report of an attempted break in at the Headley Community Shop on Thornford Road.

“Officers attended the scene and found that the outer glass of the shop’s front door had been smashed.

“Entry was not gained to the store.

“A thorough area search was conducted, but a suspect was not located.

“Officers have launched an investigation and anyone with information is asked to contact 101, quoting 44220156735.”

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