A POSTMISTRESS has spoken of the shock of seeing six men in masks ram-raid their family run post office.
And Melissa Samuel says Bourton Post Office will be closed for months to repair structural damage caused in the raid.
The raid happened at 1.45am on August 29, with thieves using a vehicle to try and force their way into the post office on the High Street.
They were disturbed by a member of the public and shouts from the Samuel family, who live above the post office. The raiders fled the scene, stealing nothing.
But Mrs Samuel, who runs the post office with husband Madan, said the raiders had damaged a room where the safe is kept, which will need to be completely rebuilt due to structural damage and will lead to a lengthy delay before they can reopen.
“It was very frightening, my daughter’s bedroom is immediately above where they came in,” Mrs Samuel said.
“To look out the window and see six masked men, we didn’t know what they were carrying, it is scary.
“I started shouting one of the registration numbers of a getaway car, which the police think may have helped to scare them off.
“The whole thing only lasted a couple of minutes, but they did so much damage.
“This is the second time this has happened to us, as we had Bliss when that was ram-raided four years ago.
“It is just a nightmare to go through this a second time.”
Following the incident Inspector Simon Ellson, from the Cotswold Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “Extensive damage was caused to the post office and although nothing appears to have been stolen, crimes such as this can have a huge impact on the local community.
“The neighbourhood team will be taking part in reassurance patrols over the coming days while the investigation continues.”
Mrs Samuel said: “People have been so supportive.
“We have had so many flowers and cards.
“People have been coming up to us saying they are so sorry about what happened.
“Being closed is not just having a big impact on us, but also on the community.
“It is a small village, there is no bank, no newsagent. We are providing pensions, business banking for example.
“Our aim is to reopen by Christmas because that is the busiest time for post offices.”
After the raid Gloucestershire County Councillor Councillor Paul Hodgkinson (Bourton) tweeted: “This is appalling.
“Bourton has now experienced two ram-raids in its centre in last two years, plus ATMs attacked.
“We need help of Gloucestershire police to get to grips with who is behind this latest crime.”
Officers investigating the post office raid would like to hear from anyone who witnessed any suspicious activity in the area in the early hours of that morning, or has any information which would help them with their enquiries.
Anyone with information is asked to call Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101, quoting incident 29 of August 29.