A post office in the Moorlands was ram raided at the weekend which left the shop front damaged. The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday (March 20) at Caverswall Post Office.
A post office in the Moorlands was ram raided at the weekend which left the shop front damaged.
The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday (March 20) at Caverswall Post Office.
A white Mercedes Sprinter van drove through the frontage of the premises in School Lane, and the van’s occupants entered the stop, stole items and then sped away in the van.
Business owner Pratheesh Shanmuganathan has told the Times & Echo that he is devastated about what has happened but that no one will stop him from serving his community. He has been continuing the business’ paper rounds with additionaldrops and is also delivering other goods to residents.
He said: “We do paper rounds anyway, but I wanted to make sure others got their papers too so they would not be worried.
“We also have elderly people, people who are shielding, who have my number. I have told them to give me a call if they need anything.
“No one is going to stop us serving the lovely people in our community.”
The business is currently closed to the public while work goes on to fix the shop front, but Pratheesh is looking at setting up at the front of his shop for customers to ask for the items they wish to purchase, which he will then select off the shop shelves for them.
He said: “Luckily the property is secure on the structural side of things, but we can not let customers in yet.
“So temporarily I am offering deliveries and looking at offering a click and collect service where I can go inside and get the products for the customers.
“Hopefully everything will go well.”
Pratheesh bought the premises in 2014. He said: “It was just an empty shop when I bought it. I applied for it to be a Post Office and have built the shop up from scratch.”
Pratheesh has been overwhelmed by the support he has recieved from the community.
A Go Fund Me page has been set up to help raise funds for Pratheesh. As of yesterday (Tuesday, March 23), a total of £7,010 had been raised.
Pratheesh said: “It’s just been amazing how people are supporting us. I am more emotional about the love, care and support from people in the village – I have no words.
“I would like to thank Ross Ward and Paul Roberts who came down to the post office the morning it happened.
“Lots of people in the village have offered support and said I am not alone. It is such motivating spirit – if my mind goes somewhere wrong, I just think about those words, that I am not alone.”
Pratheesh was recently recognised for his community support during the pandemic with a ‘Community Champion’ award.
He said: “I have tried to support as many people as I could throughout the pandemic.
“I see the support I am getting now as a positive of this. It is a perfect reaction, if you do something good, then that is going to be harvested.
“I have done some good in the community and they are now supporting me through hard times.”
Police are appealing for any witnesses of the ram raid to get in touch with them.
On Saturday, a spokesman for Staffordshire Police said: “Detectives are investigating after Caverswall Post Office was ram raided this morning.
“Police were called just after 5.10am today (Saturday, March 20) to reports a white Mercedes Sprinter van had driven through the frontage of the post office on School Lane.
“The van’s occupants entered the stop, stole items and sped away in the van a short time after.
“Thankfully no-one was injured.”
The police spokesman added: “Anyone with any information, CCTV or dashcam footage from the area should message Staffordshire Police on Facebook or Twitter quoting incident number 110 of 20 March, call 101 or alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Anyone wishing to support the fundraising drive for Caverswall Post Office can go online to:https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-pratheesh-and-our-post-office
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