Spate of ram-raids in Canterbury

Police have a major lead in identifying ram-raiders who smashed their way into a dairy south of Christchurch this morning - one of the offenders wasn't masked.

It was one of several stores targeted in Canterbury overnight by different groups.

Three offenders - two males wearing hoodies and face masks and a young woman - were involved in the raid on the Lincoln Dairy, in Lincoln, about 5.30am.

The damaged door of the Lincoln dairy. PHOTO: BARRY CLARKE/STAR NEWS
The damaged door of the Lincoln dairy. PHOTO: BARRY CLARKE/STAR NEWS
Vaping products and a cash float left overnight were stolen.

The raid was captured on the shop's CCTV security cameras, clearly identifying the woman involved, who was not disguised.

It was one of several stores ram-raided overnight in Christchurch and Prebbleton.

Vehicles were smashed into Oak Village Food mart in Halswell, Alex Store on Clyde Rd in Bryndwr and Three Arrows Diary in Prebbleton.

Lincoln Dairy owner Shehan Saparamadu arrived minutes after the break-in to find a stolen car in his shop with its engine still running.

The offenders had fled in what is believed to have been another stolen car moments earlier.

"I drove the car out of the shop and parked it about 100 metres down the road," Mr Saparamadu said.

The ram-raid was heart breaking, he said, as he and his wife Shamina had worked hard to build up the business.

The couple  are well known and liked in Lincoln. Locals were also on hand soon after the ram-raid to offer support.

It is the second ram-raid in the Canterbury town in the last few months.

The Lincoln Convenience Store nearby was targeted in May when a stolen car was driven through the front window. A dairy in Prebbleton 6km away was also hit that month.

Truck driver intervenes 

Christchurch police say the offenders left a "trail of destruction" and they are investigating latest attacks.

A car was used to crash through the front of Alex Vape Store in Christchurch just before 7am today. Vape products and cash were taken.

A staff member who arrived just minutes after the attack and said five teenagers in two cars were involved.

She said a member of the public intervened during the burglary, stopping the offenders from getting away with any more products.

"We were lucky to have a truck driver passing by while it happened and gave them a fright.

"She tried to block them in, but she was unsuccessful with that."

- Additional reporting by Geoff Sloan