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UPDATED: Goods worth £5,000 stolen from Vodafone Dorchester
POLICE are hunting four men who raided a mobile phone shop in Dorchester town centre.
The gang made off with goods worth around £5,000 when they targeted Vodafone in Cornhill at around 5.15pm on Tuesday.
Police Constable Garry Mason, of Dorchester police, said: "The offenders entered the store during a busy period and ripped the items straight off the walls before making off.
“The estimated value of the stolen phones and iPads is believed to be around £5,000.
“I am very keen to hear from anyone who may have witnessed this theft take place, or may have information about those involved.
“I would also like to trace the stolen property and speak to anyone who has been offered mobiles or iPads in strange circumstances, possibly for an unusually low cash sum.
“No arrests have been made.”
The suspects are believed to have made their escape through Antelope Walk.
Michael Larder, who was in the shop with his wife at the time, said he was shocked to see such a thing happen in the county town.
Mr Larder, 62, said: “It was only me, my disabled wife and two young lads working there.
“My wife was shaking and I felt funny but I wasn't going to leave.
“It's just not the kind of thing you expect to happen in Dorchester.
“This is a nice town.
“I have lived here all my life and never seen anything like that.”
He added: “One of the lads who was working in the shop locked himself in the back so that they couldn't get to the money.
“So instead they started ripping phones off the display stands.”
Mr Larder said all four were wearing hooded tops and described one as tall whilst the others were of average height.
A Vodafone spokesman said: “A number of devices were stolen from our Dorchester store on Tuesday and the police are investigating.”
Anyone with information should call Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident reference number 19:337
MEMBERS of the community said they were surprised to hear of the incident.
Town councillor Tim Harries said: “I am quite taken aback by it and thank Heavens they didn't get away with more.
“Not a lot of this sort of things happens in Dorchester.
“But unfortunately these things do happen from time to time, although the town is not a hot bed for crime.
“Let's hope they left plenty of fingerprints.
“I think the police do a good job and let's hope they catch them- the sooner the better.”
West Dorset district councillor and town crier Alistair Chisholm said: “There will always be people around who try to seek a living on the other side of the law.
“And unfortunately that will be more common when times are very tough.
“But apart from doing damage, it doesn't always work and more often than not you're going to lose a lot more than you gain.
“If you do something like that you run a very good risk of coming unstuck.”