Dramatic robbery in the Square

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Early this morning, at around 12.40am, three masked thugs smashed their way into the Co-op Village Store with sledge hammers and then attempted to cut open the padlocks on the shop's shutters with a circular saw.

When they were spotted by a local resident who had heard the crash as the shop's window was shattered, she received a torrent of abuse. Bravely, she told them the police had been called but they obviously knew how long it would take the police to reach Audlem, and spent 15 minutes on their attempted robbery.

After they left the scene, a police van arrived eventually having had to travel from Sandbach. Descriptions were given to the police of the robbers and their vehicle. But as a witness said about the length of time it took for help to arrive: "It's a good job it wasn't a murder. The body could have been buried by now."

It was also pointed out, somewhat tongue in cheek, that the robbers had parked on a double yellow line. This offence, with current sentencing policy in the courts, might just attract the heavier sentence!

While there have been very positive comments about PC Ken Maple and the increased police visibility in Audlem, there has been concern about how far patrol vehicles may have to travel in an emergency. Today's incident shows there are good grounds for such concern. Indeed, with the proposed amalgamation of Cheshire police into a North Western regional force, next time the police van may have to drive from Preston!


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