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Ram-raid at Fourways Store on New Inn Road, Bartley, leads to fears ‘unstable’ building will have to be demolished

A NEW Forest village convenience store may have to demolished after it was hit by “bungling” ram-raiders who escaped with around £200.

A large hole was smashed into the front of Fourways Stores on New Inn Road shortly before 2.20am on Monday, taking out its shuttered entrance along with a section of wall.

No injuries were reported but concerns the structure would collapse saw the road closed to traffic so assessors could examine the damage.

The road was closed while the damage was inspected
The road was closed while the damage was inspected

A source at the store, who asked to remain anonymous, told the A&T it faced an uncertain future, with a local council building surveyor suspecting the building would have to be knocked down.

“The damage done to the building has made the building unstable which is why the road was closed – the fear was the building might collapse,” they said.

“We are waiting for insurance assessors to determine if the building will be condemned and need knocking down, which will deprive the village of its shop and post office.”

The mess inside
The mess inside

They continued: “I’ve got the CCTV footage and it shows the bungling criminals run into the shop, get scared by the alarm and run out empty-handed before realising they forgot to steal anything and running back in a second time only to steal the mostly empty cash drawer containing just the small float for the next day.

“Certainly not a professional gang of experienced criminals!”

A Ford Transit van reportedly rammed the store before the offenders escaped in a Volkswagen Golf.

The van was reportedly later found abandoned in Totton but police were still looking for the Volkswagen.

There are fears the building will have to be demolished
There are fears the building will have to be demolished

A Hampshire police spokesperson said: “We are investigating a report of a burglary at Fourways Stores, which occurred around 2.18am today (5th June).

“A quantity of money and some alcohol has been reported as having been taken.

“Our enquiries are continuing.”

Those with information should contact officers on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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