POLICE say a number of offenders are on the run after running from officers in a police chase in Armidale after an earlier ram raid in Guyra.
Three cars were stolen in Armidale in the early hours of Sunday before one was used to ram the Spar Express Supermarket on Bradley Street in Guyra about 7.15am.
Witnesses said one offender was described as six foot tall, of slim build and was wearing a dark hooded jumper and face covering.
The offenders then used two getaway cars to flee the scene and returning to Armidale.
The dramatic crime spree started sometime between 4am and 6.30am on Sunday when a white Toyota Camry and black Mazda sedan were stolen from a Gordon Street home, while an Audi SUV was taken from a McCarthy Crescent address. Both homes were broken into before the cars were stolen.
All three cars were driven to Guyra by the offenders before the Mazda was driven through the supermarket shopfront.
A number of offenders ran into the store and fled shortly after in the Toyota sedan and Audi SUV.
The Toyota was then dumped and torched on a road on the outskirts of Guyra before the offenders fled in the Audi.
The Audi was then involved in a fail-to-pay at a service station at Black Mountain at about 7.40am.
Police were alerted, and shortly after 8am, the Audi was spotted by officers in Erskine Street in Armidale.
Police gave chase and pursued the SUV but lost sight of it in the Kentucky Street area. The driver is described as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander in appearance with dark skin and a stocky build.
Shortly after, the Audi was found abandoned on Douglas Street, near the intersection of Kentucky Street, with damage to the front end.
Locals have told police they saw two males fleeing the car, jumping over several fences and running through yards to evade offices.
Despite extensive police patrols, the pair fled and were last seen in vicinity of Markham Street, cross of Railway Parade.
Police said the pair are described as Aboriginal in appearance, and one of the men was not wearing a shirt.
Investigators are urging anyone who saw the males jumping the fences, or fleeing through their yards, particularly in the Douglas and Kentucky Streets, to come forward.
Anyone with information on the ram raid or who saw the offenders or cars is urged to contact Armidale detectives on 6771 0699.
A SHOP-owner has been left shocked after his small town supermarket was targeted in an attempted ram raid on Sunday morning.
Asim Shahid has been at the helm of the Spar Express supermarket in Guyra for just six months and he never dreamed what unfolded on this weekend could actually happen in the sleepy town.
Early in the morning a car smashed into the Bradley Street shop in what was believed to be an attempted ram-raid.
The front of the shop sustained extensive damage in the smash in the incident which Mr Shahid described as "very unfortunate".
The front windows, door, part of the brick wall, counters and floors were damaged in the smash.
But it could have been an even worse incident for the businessman who said "no money, cigarettes or high value items" had been taken.
"They didn't get anything so probably that will discourage them to do it somewhere else," he said.
Mr Shahid couldn't open for business on Sunday and predicted it could some time before the store is ready to start trading again.
"It'll be at least be a few days, but I was able to get a local builder in to secure the place today," he said.
Mr Shahid has been working in the supermarket since September last year and said he'd been impressed with the Guyra community.
He didn't believe something like this would happen in the small New England town.
"This is probably a big thing for a town like Guyra," he said.
"It's a great little town, we haven't had any other trouble.
"It's a small town where everyone knows everyone.
"And it's very unfortunate for people who rely on us because we're usually open on Sunday afternoons."
He hoped his regular customers would continue to support the shop once it could reopen.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Armidale detectives on 6771 0699.