THE owners of a Halifax mini-mart were picking up the pieces today after ram-raiders smashed a dumper truck through the front of the shop.
PNG’s Minimarket in Clough Lane, Mixenden, was attacked at around 3am yesterday. Neighbours said two men stole the six-ton dump truck from a nearby building site and drove it down the road before ramming the shop.
The truck was left embedded in the front of the building and the raiders fled empty handed.
“It was like World War Three,” said a neighbour. “They were just ramming backwards and forwards. It must have been about 20 times.
“The shop sign fell down and was right in front of the driver’s face. As soon as they realised they couldn’t get in they ran off. It all lasted a matter of minutes.”
The raiders had smashed through concrete bollards and steel shutters to get into the shop before the heavy plant machinery became stuck.
Neetu Singh, Gurdeep Chahal and Govinder Chahal, joint owners of the shop, estimate up to £20,000 damage was caused.
Mr Singh said: “We had had a late night so we didn’t find out until one of our staff came to open the shop at 7am.
“They haven’t taken anything but it’s pretty shocking.”
Gurdeep said: “This shop is our baby. I think it will take at least two weeks to get everything back up and running”
The three men have owned the shop for six months but it is not the first time something like this has happened.
“Our first shop got looted before and we had to close it down. This one was well secured with three shutters and alarms so we thought we would be all right.
“We didn’t think in a million years that this would happen.”
“It’s affected our staff. There’s bills to pay – and if we’re shut for two weeks it will cost us about £40,000 altogether.”
A workman from the building site in Brow Bottom Lane told the Courier the raiders stole the dumper truck and drove straight through a fence off the site.
The team was forced to hire a new dumper so they could carry on working.
Police said: “At 3am we had a report from a witness who had seen a dumper truck which was run through the front window.”
If anyone has any information they should contact Sergeant Terry O’Keefe at Calderdale CID on 01422 337 086 or CrimeStoppers confidentially on 0800 555 111.