Kent

Eythorne villagers raise cash for shop security after raids

Eythorne Village Store
Image caption The Eythorne Village Store is the only shop for the local community

Hundreds of pounds has been raised to help improve security at a family-run shop that has been targeted by robbers three times in six months.

Eythorne Village Store in east Kent was most recently targeted at about 07:15 GMT, when a masked man fled with about £350.

The shop was first raided in May and again earlier this month, when the owner was threatened with a crowbar.

Police said a man had been arrested in connection with the latest raid.

The 49-year-old has been held on suspicion of robbery, the force added.

Image caption Rakesh Patel says he has been left fearful of what may happen if his shop is targeted again

A security screen, more CCTV cameras and a panic alarm have now been installed at the store and post office, run by the Patel family, after a funding bid by members of the local community raised more than £900.

Local resident Aaron Felton said elderly and vulnerable people in the village relied on the shop, which was known as a "social meeting ground".

Rakesh Patel said the robberies had been "very stressful".

"You get more worried about you and your family, he said, adding: "You always think what will happen next time."

He said the support of the community had been "wonderful", adding: "The village feels like a second family for us."

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