Ram raid post office reopens
THE centuries-old post office at Buckfastleigh is set to reopen after it was badly damaged in a ram raid.
Sub post mistress Beverley Gardner is preparing to open the doors of the Grade II-listed building two months after a vehicle was deliberately crashed into the building by raiders.
It will open for business on Monday.
"I can't wait to get back to normal", Ms Gardner said.
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The post office was forced to close in July after a gang used a stolen Land Rover to ram the building and drag out an ATM.
They fled the scene empty handed after sounding alarms alerted nearby neighbours, sparking a man hunt across Teignbridge.
The raid left the building, dating back to 1750, severely damaged and structurally unsound.
The ceiling collapsed and the floor was left with a gaping hole where the ATM had been torn from its fittings.
Police launched an investigation but all lines of inquiry drew a blank.
Residents were directed to Buckfast post office while the town building was repaired.
Applied Heritage, a Buckfastleigh company, carried out the restoration and repair work.
Ms Gardner said: "It has been a difficult time but we are nearly there now. I am so pleased to be able to reopen.
"The full surveyor's report revealed there was a lot of structural damage because of how the vehicle hit the building.
"We had to liaise with Dartmoor National Park Authority because the building is listed. There was a lot of work done to strengthen the building.
"It has cost roughly £40,000 to repair. Applied Heritage has done a fantastic job, both inside and out."
A 16-year-old Buckfastleigh youth who was arrested on suspicion of burglary and the unauthorised taking of a vehicle later had his bail cancelled with no further action being taken.
A police spokesman said: "All inquiries have been completed and have come back negative.
"However, if any fresh evidence is brought to our attention we will look at the case again."