Crime & PolicingDriffield NewsNEWS

Village store future in doubt as thieves hit it for fourth time

Almost all the stock from a village store that has proved to be a lifeline for locals over the last few years was stolen in the early hours of Thursday 9th March, an incident which has led the owner of the shop questioning whether she wants to continue running it.

The Rudston Village Store runs from secure sheds in the front garden of Diane Morgan’s house on Kilham Road.

Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the store sells everything from tea and coffee, soft drinks, biscuits and crisps to pet food, greeting cards and cleaning products, with customers able to pay via cash boxes and card readers.

Since opening, it has proved to be a well-used facility in Rudston, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people were confined to the village due to lockdown rules.

But, for the fourth time, Diane’s business has been targeted by thieves. On previous occasions, smaller amounts of confectionery have been taken and Diane has stepped up security measures at the store in response.

However, the latest break-in saw around £800 worth of goods taken, with those responsible ransacking the sheds.

But despite the store being targeted again, Diane remained open for business the following morning, with the little stock she had left.

Having remained defiant after the previous break-ins, Diane is now weighing up her options as to whether the store can keep going.

“The culprits have taken almost all of the stock,” she told the Wolds Weekly. “I believe they came to do a recce at 1am and then returned at 2:45am to clear out the stock.

“They came down Long Street, from the direction of the pub, and I think they left the same way in a vehicle, although I haven’t been able to confirm this yet.

“We’re going to look at the CCTV frame by frame to determine exactly what happened but it looks like two men who were dressed in black.

“One had his face covered, however, the other one didn’t and they looked at the cameras when they turned them around at the end of their visit.

“They have probably taken around £700-£800 worth of stock on this occasion. I was still able to stay open with the items that were left untouched.

“However, this one has hit me hard. Once we have looked at the CCTV, we are going to assess how to move forward and if it is possible to carry on.

“If I reduce the amount of stock I carry, it’ll minimise the losses but it will mean more work for me restocking multiple times a day.

“I don’t think I could manage that or that I would want to do that.”

Humberside Police confirmed it had opened an investigation into the theft.

“We are investigating the theft of a large amount of items from the village shop in Rudston in the East Riding of Yorkshire,” said a spokesperson.

“The incident happened at around 2.40am this morning (Thursday 9th March). Two men were seen on CCTV taking a number of items from the shop before leaving.

“If you saw anyone acting suspiciously in and around the village from around 1am, or if you have any information that would help with our enquiries, please call us on our non-emergency number 101 quoting reference 23*34424.”

The latest break-in came just over a year since trays of sweets and chocolate were stolen by two men, before the pair fled towards Burton Agnes.

Previously, thieves wearing masks and armed with bolt croppers and crow bars stole cash boxes and confectionary from the sheds.

And, in 2015, just after Diane had set up the store, the whole shop was stolen from underneath her front window.

At the time, Diane said she had no intention of letting the thieves win and would continue providing a service for the community.

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