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Ram raiders in smash and grab

SHOCKED villagers saw a car smash through the front of a Balsall Common bank on Monday.

SHOCKED villagers saw a car smash through the front of a Balsall Common bank on Monday.

The robbers reversed through the front window of the HSBC branch, in Station Road.

Police have said that the ram raiders snatched three cash boxes, containing a “large sum” of money.

Staff were badly shaken following the incident, with one man injured by shards of glass and taken to hospital.

The heist happened in the middle of the village’s shopping parade at just before 5pm - as the bank was cashing up.

Vince Hunt, manager of John Taylor Butchers, opposite the bank, had dialled 999 within seconds.

“I heard an almighty crash, and it sounded that horrific and loud, I thought two cars had collided outside,” he said.

“We often get crashes along here but this was so loud.

“By the time I had got through to the police the car had sped off. It all happened so quickly.”

Councillor David Bell (Con, Meriden) said: “I will speak to police about CCTV in the area to make sure we are guarded against this sort of thing.

“There was also a ram-raid at the Co-Op [in Kenilworth Road] a few years ago. One of the things about Balsall Common is that people can get out of the village at some speed.”

Judy Lea, chairman of Balsall Common Parish Council, said that locals were “staggered” by the incident.

“The bank is right opposite the police shop and it’s very busy in the village at that time of day, with lots of schoolchildren about.”

The HSBC premises has been boarded-up and a sign outside says that it will be closed until further notice.

A police spokeswoman said that a 28-year-old man has been charged with robbery, with three other people bailed pending further inquiries.

Anyone who saw the drama unfold should call West Midlands Police on 0345 113 5000.

 

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