As one Co-op re-opens after �350,000 refit, police at scene of break-in at Fenland town’s second Co-op

THE Co-op celebrated the �350,000 re-launch of their High Street, March, store today whilst across town police were helping the clear up following an overnight raid at the Badgeney Road Co-op.

As store staff and children helped with a special re-opening ceremony of the former Somerfield store in the High Street, police were looking for clues following the break in at the smaller Co-op branch in Badgeney Road.

Police say the break in was reported shortly after 5am when a cleaner arrived and found the doors open and the alarm going off.

Cigarettes appear to have been the main target for the raiders, and scenes of crime officers are at the scene looking for evidence.

Police say some of the cigarettes appear to have been dropped in the area and recovered.

At the opening ceremony of the newly revamped High Street store, staff cheered as Emily Lawrence, 4, a pupil at Maple Grove Pre School, cut the ribbon with store manager Les Smith.

Les said: “It’s a transformation. We had a tight schedule and it went really well. It’s been a real pleasure.

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“The whole of March should come and visit the new Co-operative Store. It’s a pleasure to enjoy.”

Gemma, one of 13 of the store’s staff that opened the store, said: “I’ve worked so hard over the past week and a half, pulling night and day shifts to get the store ready for today.

“It looks a lot different now. It’s a lot bigger and better than beforehand.”

The Somerfield store on the High Street has been transformed into a Co-op, following the group’s �1.56 billion acquisition of the chain last year.

It has been closed since November 3 during the refurbishment, until the official opening today when youngsters from Maple Grove performed a ribbon-cutting ceremony and received a donation of �200 for its funds.

Meanwhile back across town, Andy Ayres, Badgeney Road store manager said he hoped the branch would open around midday.

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