Latest Melbourn break-in prompts fresh fears and a plea to help police track down culprits

The Co Operative in Melbourn was broken into.

The Co Operative in Melbourn was broken into. - Credit: Archant

A Melbourn shop break-in has been labelled as ‘outrageous’ by concerned villagers after similar burglaries were reported at shops further up the street within the space of a few months.

The Co Operative in Melbourn was broken into in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The Co Operative in Melbourn was broken into in the early hours of Tuesday morning. - Credit: Archant

Police are currently on the lookout for three hooded men in connection with a burglary in the Co-op which occurred in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Three men – in red, light blue and dark hoodies – are believed to have stolen an unknown quantity of cigarettes and tobacco before leaving in an Audi – possibly an A3 Sportback.

It follows a similar burglary which took place in Premier Stores in the High Street in August. In that instance, police were called after a large quantity of cigarettes were taken from the shop.

Melbourn district councillor Jose Hales said: “It is outrageous. It breaks my heart that people seem unable to abide by the law and have broken into people’s businesses, putting them under threat. I would appeal to anyone who knows those people to contact police.”

Yvonne Chamberlain, who lives in the village, said: “I think it is organised crime which is sad. I don’t know what we can do except be vigilant.

“We are in an area where the M11 can be easily reached via the A10 either way, and the convenient and nearby A505 – it is an easy getaway.

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“I was robbed a few years ago, when I was postmistress at Meldreth Post Office, another annual target, especially when the cash machine was there. The thieves waited until the 5pm post had been collected – I was printing off the day’s reports and cashing up.”

Clive Porter, who lives in the village and had his car broken into recently in Shepreth, said: “We are getting a lot of burglaries around here, and what with the incident that happened to me and the bike being stolen outside Co-op in September, I think crime is increasing.

“I don’t think there are enough deterrents. I’m hearing about more crimes in Royston, too. I’ve had my car scratched three times recently in the town.”

On Tuesday evening, thieves stole tools from vans in Melbourn and Shepreth. Anyone with information about any of the incidents is asked to contact police on 101.

Det Con Ian Butcher said: “This appears to be a well organised offence. Three offenders were in the shop for just six minutes and have specifically targeted the cigarettes. They made off in an Audi vehicle.

“We are not currently linking the incident on Tuesday to the one back in August.”