A heavily pregnant mum and her family woke to loud bangs and their home shaking as ram raiders targeted an ATM at Crowland Co-op, only feet below their flat.
It’s believed a Toyota Hilux was twice reversed into the West Street shop’s doors.
The entrance doors were smashed to pieces, the rear screen on the Toyota was smashed and the vehicle and free standing ATM were abandoned outside the food store.
Police believe three men were involved in the raid and people at the scene said they fled in an Audi.
Alia Mawia, who has a son Jayden (7), was due to have her baby girl on Thursday but was still waiting to complete her family when she was woken abruptly by the Toyota crashing into the store.
Alia said: “I just heard two bangs and then I saw the Audi speed off. It was dark at the time.”
Her partner Michael Moore said: “I work up to the first bang when they drove into the shop because we live above.
“We felt it (our home) vibrate as they dragged the cashpoint out.”
Michael said a man across the street called police on his mobile phone and then shouted to him and Alia to leave their flat because it wasn’t known at that time if the building was structurally safe.
The family went back inside their home for a time but then came outside again, spending time chatting to friends in the street.
Michael explained: “We can’t stay in there with that alarm going off all day.”
People arriving for work – and shoppers venturing out – expressed shock and dismay at the raid, and were worried about the store being out of action.
One resident told us: “I only live round the corner and I was just going to go in there. It’s the only proper supermarket we have.”
The raid happened shortly before 4am and police scenes of crime sealed off the site for several hours, searching for evidence, but the store reopened at about 5.30pm.
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Co-op said: “We are open as normal.
“We are going to have to replace some of the equipment at the entrance and do some general tidying up work around where the cashpoint was.
“Cash machines are important to our customers so we will look to reintroduce a cash machine in the coming weeks.”
As police worked at the scene, an appeal went out for witnesses.
A Lincolnshire Police spokesman said: “We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anything and who has not already spoken to police. If you have any information you think could assist the enquiry please contact us as soon as possible.”
Raiders have previously targeted ATMs in South Holland, including the Co-op store at Donington and the Lincolnshire Co-op store at Sutton Bridge, and there have been recent ram raids in Norfolk, including one on July 24 at the Nisa store in Burnham Deepdale, and another at the Co-op in Wells on July 17. There was also a ram raid on July 10 at a Co-op in Stoney Stanton, Leicestershire, which is believed to link to two others.
• Anyone with information on the Crowland raid can call Lincolnshire Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.