Ram raid leaves store manager ‘soul-destroyed’

Published: 1:16 PM January 7, 2022 The manager of a convenience store raided by who they say was an armed gang said the damage caused has been “soul-destroying”.  Debris and bricks were piled on the pavement after the gang smashed into the shopfront before stealing a cash machine from Nisa on Park Street, Chatteris last night (Thursday). 

“At about 10.45pm, I heard a bang thinking it was an accident on the road. I then saw a truck reverse about four to five times into the shop,” said the manager.  “They ran in the shop, grabbed the cash machine and put it in the van.  

“I rang police while they (the culprits) were still here; it took four minutes to raid the shop and then leave.” 

Aftermath of ram raid at Nisa in Chatteris

A ram raid destroyed the front of Nisa in Chatteris, damage which the shop manager said is “soul-destroying”. – Credit: Daniel Mason The manager, who does not want to be named, believes four males were responsible for the break-in which they said involved a truck, a van and an Audi car.  They say a saw was used to cut a strap which dragged the cash machine through the shop. 

Aftermath of ram raid at Nisa Chatteris

A ram raid destroyed the front of Nisa in Chatteris, damage which the shop manager said is “soul-destroying”. – Credit: Daniel Mason

“The gang wore balaclavas; they left one vehicle behind as the van took the cash machine and the others jumped in the Audi,” the manager said.  “It’s the first time something like this has happened in my one-and-a-half years as manager.  “There’s lots of damage to the shopfront; it’s soul-destroying.” 

Aftermath of ram raid at Nisa in Chatteris

A ram raid destroyed the front of Nisa in Chatteris, damage which the shop manager said is “soul-destroying”. – Credit: Daniel Mason

Ian Benney, freeholder of Nisa, thinks the damage will cost “tens of thousands of pounds” to repair.  “It’s a shock,” he said.  “My real concern is for the tenant, and the damage will head into the tens of thousands, more than there was in the cash machine. 

Ian Benney pictured outside Nisa in Chatteris

Ian Benney, freeholder of the Nisa store, said the ram raid was “on another level”. – Credit: Daniel Mason

“This is on another level.”  Mr Benney, who is uncertain when the shop will reopen, has already received messages from local businessmen keen to help repair the damage.  One resident said the ram raid was “absolutely dreadful. 

“You feel for those working hard during a difficult time for everybody.” 

Aftermath of ram raid at Nisa in Chatteris

A ram raid destroyed the front of Nisa in Chatteris, damage which the shop manager said is “soul-destroying”. – Credit: Daniel Mason Cambridgeshire Police, who have closed off part of the area, say this and another ram raid in Milton Road, Cambridge just hours later may be linked.  But the Nisa manager hopes that the shop can reopen in a bid to serve its community. 

“When we rebuild, I hope local people will come back,” they added.  

“It’s about the community so hopefully people don’t forget us.”