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Barlaston rocked by crime spree

By Stone Edition  |  Posted: January 09, 2014

By Kerry Ashdown

SMASHED . . . Shaun Salt with the damaged window at Premier Stores

SMASHED . . . Shaun Salt with the damaged window at Premier Stores

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A VILLAGE near Stone has had a shocking start to the new year after bricks were hurled at bungalow windows and a convenience store raided for cigarettes.

Residents of the Ash Grove home in Barlaston were out at the time of the attack otherwise landlord Joe Poultney said they could have been seriously hurt by the missiles.

The incident happened between 9am on New Year's Eve and 1am on New Year's Day, while the residents were at the village's Plume of Feathers pub, Mr Poultney, of Tittensor Road, told Barlaston parish councillors on Tuesday.

He fears the attack is part of a vendetta against him or the residents, as tyres on two cars outside the Ash Grove property were found slashed just days earlier.

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"Two house bricks were thrown through the bungalow's windows, one on each side. If they had been in bed at the time they could have been seriously injured.

"At the moment we are living in fear in case anything else happens."

The council meeting was also told that in a separate incident Premier Stores in Orchard Place had been broken into this weekend, two weeks after a shop window was smashed.

Shop owner Shaun Salt told the Newsletter that £1,000 worth of cigarettes were stolen in the raid, at around 12.15am on Sunday.

"Just before Christmas a window was smashed but nobody got in. CCTV caught Saturday's break-in - there were three lads who used a sledgehammer to get in through the window.

"Apparently there was a spate of three or four break-ins in North Staffordshire that night. I think they saw a quiet village and thought they would get away with it."

A Staffordshire Police spokeswoman said: "Just after 12.30am on December 19 three males smashed a window at Premier Stores in Orchard Place. No entry was gained and nothing was stolen.

A second incident was reported at approximately 12.15am on Saturday. Three males smashed a 3m x 3m pane of glass in the window of Premier and stole a quantity of cigarettes.

"Officers attended on both occasions and carried out a search of the area but no one was located. Both incidents are being investigatedd.

"Anyone who witnessed either incident, or saw anyone or any vehicles acting suspiciously in the area prior to either incident, is asked to contact DC Anthony Clay at Staffordshire Police on 101 quoting reference 10 of Saturday."

In the wake of the Ash Grove incidents police have carried out house to house enquiriesand Mr Poultney and the bungalow residents have been offered advice and reassurance.

Anybody with information on the criminal damage should contact Staffordshire Police, again on 101, quoting incident number 81 of January 1.

Alternatively they can contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 111 555.

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