Diane vows to continue village store despite another theft

The owner of a village shop has told the Wolds Weekly that she will continue to serve the community despite her business being targeted for a third time.

Diane Morgan runs Rudston Village Store from secured sheds in her front garden on Kilham Road, providing a 24-hour service that has become a lifeline for people in the village and surrounding areas, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shop sells everything from tea and coffee, soft drinks, biscuits and crisps to pet food, greeting cards and cleaning products, with customers paying via cash boxes or card readers.

However, a police investigation has been launched after two men got out of a car near the shop at around 3am on 22nd February before stealing trays of chocolate bars and sweets.

The men fled the scene in the direction of Burton Agnes, leaving Diane to pick up the pieces later in the morning.

“I’ve had so much support for the shop from people in Rudston and the surrounding area and that’s why I carry on. I do it because it serves the community and makes me feel good.


Fortunately, the incident was clearly captured on CCTV around the sheds, with Diane handing the footage over to Humberside Police in an attempt to find the criminals.

“I received a knock on my door at around 8am on Tuesday (22nd February),” said Diane.

“A customer who was buying his copy of the Wolds Weekly had seen the doors of the shop flapping open just before 7am and closed them for me.

“He also noticed that a couple of packets of sweets had fallen on the floor, which he picked up and placed on the table outside the shop.

“He returned at a more reasonable hour to let me know and when I checked back on the CCTV footage, lo and behold, there were the thieves.

“The men arrived from the direction of Long Street and parked their car before walking across the grass verge to the shop.

“They each picked a shed and checked the cash boxes. Since the last time items were stolen, I’ve changed the cash boxes from wooden to Perspex and, as there wasn’t any money in them, the thieves didn’t rip them out.

“They also didn’t touch the card readers that have been installed, as they would be of little worth.

“Instead, they took armfuls and trays of chocolates and sweets before running away and driving off towards Burton Agnes Balk.

“They took around £30-£40 of items, at cost price. I didn’t hear anything and what’s more frustrating is that I was upstairs, more or less awake at the time.

“But my bedroom is so far back, I don’t tend to hear much.

“The police have been excellent in their response and I can’t fault the service they have provided.

“They even sent CSI as one of the thieves didn’t have gloves on and had picked up a bottle of coke before putting it back again.

“The officer said he had lifted some prints off the bottle, so hopefully that will help to catch the culprits.”

Previously, thieves wearing masks and armed with bolt croppers and crow bars stole cash boxes and confectionary from the sheds, whilst in 2015, when Diane first set up Rudston Village Store, the whole shop was stolen from underneath her front window.

But despite these incidents and the most recent setback, Diane said that she has little trouble, with the majority of customers choosing their items before paying for them.

With continued support from customers and friends, Diane has no intention of shutting up shop any time soon.

“The shop was first targeted around seven-and-a-half years ago when I first set up in the garden and the whole shed and its contents was stolen,” she said.

“Two-and-a-half years ago, I set up with the new sheds and then in July 2020, the cash boxes and large amounts of chocolate were stolen.

“I’m never impressed when it happens, but every shop in the world suffers with theft and to plant a few hundred pounds worth of items in my front garden, some people would say I was asking for trouble.

“I take every measure I can with the security and will be making some improvements.

“On the whole, people treat the shop in the way it was intended.

“Yes, there might be the odd mistake made, but I rarely get any theft and I think I’m really lucky.

“I’ve had so much support for the shop from people in Rudston and the surrounding area and that’s why I carry on.

“I do it because it serves the community and makes me feel good.

“I’m not going to let these thieves stop me and I’ll continue to run the shop.”

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