A SHOP in Wickham Bishops is cordoned off after the front of the store has been destroyed.

The One Stop shop, in The Street, has been severely damaged following an incident last night.

A pick-up truck that was stolen from a property in Little Totham was used for the raid then driven to Great Totham and set on fire.

Gazette:

An Essex Police spokesman said: "Officers are investigating a robbery in Wickham Bishops, on Friday July 14.

"Police received reports of a break in to a One Stop store on The Street, Wickham Bishops, shortly before 3.30am.

"A large vehicle, which was believed to be a dark-coloured Chevrolet, was used to force entry to the doors of the local shop.

"It was reported that four white men exited the vehicle and unsuccessfully attempted to steal an ATM machine by tying rope to the vehicle and the machine.

"The Chevrolet then drove off, towards Great Totham Road.
Officers later discovered the vehicle alight in Walden House Road, about 4am.

"It is believed the vehicle had been travelling in convoy with a white Renault Master van."

Anthony Canty, of Heybridge, was driving through Wickham Bishops on his way to work this morning.

He said: "I was driving through and pulled over to get a drink from the store as I often do, when I noticed the damage.

"It's horrible, I can't quite believe it's happened."

Last year, Great Totham post office, which is just down the road from Wickham Bishops, was ram-raided twice within six months, with a cash machine being the target. 

Gazette:

The Chervolt was stolen from Little Totham and burnt out in Great Totham.

A spokesman for Essex County Fire & Rescue Service said: “Fire crews from Witham were alerted to reports of a vehicle fire in Walden House Road, Great Totham at 3:50am this morning (14 July).

“On arrival, firefighters found a vehicle was alight. They were able to extinguish the fire by 4:12am.

“The cause of the fire has been recorded as undetermined.”

Gazette:

Walden House Road in Great Totham, where ashes of the burnt out truck remain.

A resident who lives near to the One Stop said: "I heard some screeching tires in the middle of the night. It's shocking, why anyone would do such a thing is ridiculous."

Anyone who witnessed the incident or with information shouold contact Braintree CID or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.