Moment hapless thieves who tried to steal cash machine flee PENNILESS

Moment hapless thieves who tried to steal cash machine by ripping it from a Co-Op wall flee the scene PENNILESS after chassis of their getaway van breaks off

  • A bungling gang tried to steal a cash machine from a Co-op shop in Kent
  • They fled after only managing to tear off part of their van in the botched robbery 

A gang of hapless thieves tried to steal a cash machine by ripping it out of a supermarket, but only succeeded in tearing off a chunk of their van and fled the scene empty-handed.

George Jones, 31, was part of the group of three men who tried to drag the cash machine out of a Co-op in Longfield, Kent in the early hours of the morning.

The smash-and-grab raiders knocked down the shop’s wall with one van, before attempting to use another to pull the ATM out of the wall through the hole. 

A strap was tied around the cash machine inside the shop in and attached to the chassis bar of the van.

But when the group tried to pull the machine out of its frame, the second bid broke the van’s chassis bar and the theft was abandoned.

Goerge Jones, 31, was jailed for four years and nine months for his part in the botched robbery

Following the failed break-in at around 4am on April 6 last year, the three men fled the scene in their vehicles and switched to a third van.

Officers found the gang’s third van after it was spotted on the M25 and the driver sped away, Kent Police said.

The driver led police on a chase at speeds of over 100mph through red lights and the wrong way down a dual carriageway.  

The pursuit ended in a park in Banstead, Surrey, when the vehicle was abandoned by the gang.

Officers’ body worn footage shows the moment police chased down Jones and dragged him from the undergrowth as he hid under a bush. 

A shirt that linked Jones to the scene and the vehicle was found nearby, police added.

At Maidstone Crown Court on Thursday, Jones was jailed for four years and nine months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to burgle and dangerous driving at a previous hearing.

Kent Police issued a warning to cash machine thieves after the sentencing – the fourth man in the county to be jailed for a similar crime in the last 12 months.

CCTV footage from the scene shows the moment the gang tried to tear the ATM out of the Co-op with one of their vans, but tore off a part of the vehicle instead

The gang fled after the failed effort and led police on a high-speed chase before Jones was arrested

Police released pictures showing the damage caused by the gang to the shop as they tried to steal the cash machine 

Detective Chief Inspector Christopher Greenstreet, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: ‘With a fourth man now serving a lengthy prison term for this kind of offending, the message to criminals is clear: Come to Kent to steal cash machines and you will be caught and jailed.

‘I would like to praise the officers from Kent, the Metropolitan Police and Surrey who responded on the night of this offence, tracking down this man despite his dangerous attempts to get away, and investigators whose work has led to the guilty pleas.

‘Measures to help prevent future offences of this kind are now in place and I hope staff and workers at businesses around the county feel safer knowing that those behind this kind of offending are in prison.’

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