A WEST Dorset village shop and post office is up and running days after it was ram-raided.

An ATM cash machine was stolen after thieves used a Mitsubishi Pajero to demolish the front of the Mosterton business causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Barry Nevin, the shop’s owner, said damages could cost up to £7,000 but he had been working hard to get the Orchard Way premises open by yesterday.

He said: “I have two choices, I can either get depressed about it or I get on and get the business up and running again and that’s the sensible thing to do.”

Simon Thompson, from Dorset Community Action, who has been helping Mr Nevin since the tunnel closure, urged locals to support the shop.

He said: “It is important that people rally round and make a point of using the service.

“This brings home to the community the importance of a service like this – they realise the loss when it is not there.

“It goes for all village shops and post offices that they are having to battle constantly to survive in a more hostile world.”

Detectives are appealing for information about the incident, which occurred between 9pm on Friday and 4.20am on Saturday.

Detective Constable Tom Isaac, of Weymouth CID, said: “At 4.20am, a member of the public called Dorset Police reporting a ram raid. The front doors of the building had been severely damaged and the alarm was sounding.

“A freestanding ATM had been stolen from the location. The vehicle used to force entry will have caused a great deal of noise and sustained damage.”

Police said they are in the early stages of their investigation and have not issued a description of the offenders.

DC Isaac said: “I urge any witnesses, and anyone with any information about this incident, to contact Dorset Police immediately.”

The green Mitsubishi Pajero was found abandoned in Crewkerne at around 9.30am on Saturday morning. The vehicle was stolen from Gillingham.

The empty cash machine was found around a quarter of a mile away from the vehicle.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting incident number 29:68.