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VIDEO: Burglars who broke into £7m Magpas HQ at Alconbury given suspended sentences

“As a charity that exists to care for the community we work in, we were shocked and disappointed that our new facilities were the target of crime.”

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Three burglars who broke into the £7m new headquarters of Magpas Air Ambulance at Alconbury were each given suspended sentences when they appeared in court.

Police were alerted to reports of a disturbance at the Magpas Air Ambulance site in Barnwell Road at around 5.25pm on 2 July.

Officers arrived to find the site had been broken into and within 30 minutes of the call had James Copeland and Luke Hodgkins under arrest.

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CCTV revealed three men had arrived in a white transit van earlier that afternoon. A short while after the arrest of Copeland and Hodgkins, a taxi arrived organised by ‘Sam’ to take the men to Barnabas Court in Huntingdon.

The van was located a couple of miles from the Magpas Air Ambulance site in a compound, rented by Hodgkins, with stolen diesel inside, along with other items including JCB parts, new bathroom fittings and power tools.

A key to the new Magpas Air Ambulance building was also found at the compound.

There was also a second van registered to Barnabus Court, which, after tying in with taxi drop off, officers visited and arrested 24-year-old Samuel Bamsey as the third suspect.

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At Cambridge Crown Court on 13 October, Copeland, 32, of Adams Drive, St Ives, and Hodgkins, 32, of New Road, Chatteris, were sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to burglary.

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They must also carry out 100 hours unpaid work.

Bamsey was sentenced to a year in prison, suspended for two years, after pleading guilty to two counts of burglary, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, and fraudulently using a registration mark.

He was also disqualified from driving for two years.

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PC Toby Mcevoy, who investigated, said: “This was a planned burglary by three men who thought they had covered their tracks, but our officers were one step ahead.

“Targeting a local charity who work to help save lives across our county is despicable. We know the devastating impact burglary can have on victims, which is why tackling it is a priority for the constabulary.”

Magpas Air Ambulance CEO, Daryl Brown, added: “As a charity that exists to care for the community we work in, we were shocked and disappointed that our new facilities were the target of crime.

“We rely on generous donations to continue to save lives 24/7 and our new building was a result of many years of hard work and support. We are very grateful for Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s quick response and subsequent investigations – another display of how the region’s emergency services work together to keep the people of Cambridgeshire safe.”

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