Police are investigating an apparent ram raid attempt at a shop and post office.
A dark green 4x4 vehicle was reversed at speed into the front of The Village Stores and Post Office, in Ryhall, at 3.27am this morning (Monday).
After apparently struggling to gain entry to the building, the offenders set the car on fire before fleeing the scene.
Nothing was taken from the store, but it is believed those responsible may have been targeting a cash machine inside the building.
Speaking at the scene, postmistress Miranda Amies, who lives above the shop with her husband Dave, said she was woken by a large bang.
She said: “It was really loud. I glanced at the clock and then ran downstairs into the shop. I could see something had crashed into the front of the building and there were flames visible through the window.
“The car was on fire in the middle of the road. It was shocking. Fortunately the fire service got here quickly.”
Mrs Amies, who has been running the shop and post office for five years, said she was pleased nobody was hurt. She added: “It seems whoever was responsible attempted to reverse the car through the front of the shop, but after the first hit the vehicle could not be driven properly. It was at that point the car was set alight.
“Despite everything, the shop has been open as usual today. We have had a huge amount of support from local residents and we are very grateful for that.
“The shop is insured, but there is a significant excess to pay following a ram raid so we will have to find that money. It seems unfair, but there’s nothing we can do. We are staying positive.”
Just last week, the shop won a Rutland Radio Star Award in the best village shop / post office category.
The burnt-out car has since been removed from the scene and workmen are beginning to repair the front of the building.
Anyone with any information is urged to call Leicestershire Police on 101.