Hunstanton residents tell of ‘shock’ after bank raid

Police investigate a raid on the Nationwide building society in Greevegate, Hunstanton
Police investigate a raid on the Nationwide building society in Greevegate, Hunstanton

A substantial amount of cash was stolen from a bank in Hunstanton on Wednesday, with residents reportedly hearing an explosion.

Nationwide Building Society, on Greevegate, was broken into and its cashpoint ripped off the wall during the raid at about 2.25am.

Damage caused following a raid on the Nationwide Building Society branch in Greevegate, Hunstanton

Damage caused following a raid on the Nationwide Building Society branch in Greevegate, Hunstanton

Forensic officers were at the scene later, where residents expressed their shock.

Stella Gooch said: “I just heard a loud bang which woke me up, and then I heard the alarm going.

“Everyone’s a bit shocked. These things don’t happen round here.”

Mrs Gooch said she hoped the break-in would not put Nationwide off trading in the town in the future.

Alex Stickels, manager of Gecko Gifts on High Street, said: “It’s very rare that anything happens here. It’s not something you would expect from round here.”

Mark Kacary, whose business Norfolk Deli is next to Nationwide and closed for the day on Wednesday because of the incident, said he and his wife Rosie were also woken up by the raid.

Mr Kacary said: “We heard a big bang, and having a deli, our first thought was that something had happened in the shop.”

After discovering “nothing untoward” downstairs, he went out onto the street where he saw debris from the cash machine.

Mr Kacary said: “My wife, who had gone to the front window of the house, saw three people dressed in black wearing balaclavas.

“One was saying ‘come on, come on’ before they jumped into a white Audi A3 and drove off.

“Whoever it was knew what they were doing. Somebody did something to the cash machine whereby they were able to blow the front open.

“It certainly wasn’t a JCB – there were no heavy duty vehicles involved.”

A Nationwide spokesman said yesterday: “Following the incident on Wednesday morning, the Nationwide branch in Hunstanton is now open for business. We are continuing to help the police with their enquiries.”

The incident has come after a spate of raids on cash machines across East Anglia earlier in the year, in which farm machinery was used.

Nationally, a number of cash points have been targeted using explosives this week – including incidents in the Leicester and Liverpool areas.

Police are investigating the raid, and said it is believed a large quantity of cash was stolen from within the store.

Officers would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the incident or noticed anything suspicious in the area.

Anyone with information about the incident should contact Norfolk Police quoting reference 36/68311/17 on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.