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VIDEO: Ram raiders jailed for ‘causing havoc’ across three counties

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Four men – including a teenager – were jailed today for taking part in ram raids and other thefts across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and Northamptonshire.

Jail sentences totalling more than 20 years were handed out to the men by a judge at Huntingdon Law Courts.

Samuel Mitchell sentenced to four years and six months at a young offenders institution

Tony Smith, 23, John Mitchell, 20, Alan Smith, 47, and Samuel Mitchell, 19, all pleaded guilty to their parts in the various offences in January and February 2022.

Tony Smith sentenced to six years and four months

Working together, the four caused havoc across the counties, targeting both businesses and individuals.

Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of loss and damage was caused by the group who committed ATM and cigarette ram raids as well stealing vehicles and equipment to commit the offences.

They targeted a service station and supermarkets including Ramsey and St Neots Tesco stores and the Co-op store in Yaxley.

The investigation into the ram raids and thefts was complex, with officers trawling CCTV footage, phone records and carrying out extensive forensic searches.

John Mitchell sentenced to five years at a young offenders institution

The group were caught following an ATM theft at the Howard Centre, in Bedford, on 21 February last year (See CCTV footage).

Tony Smith, of Cadwin Field, Willingham, Cambridgeshire, was charged with conspiracy to commit non-dwelling burglary and conspiracy to steal across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and Northamptonshire.

He was also charged with dangerous driving in relation to the theft in Bedford.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years and four months at Huntingdon Law Courts today (20 January).

Alan Smith was sentenced to five years and 10 months

John Mitchell, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, Essex, was also charged with conspiracy to commit non-dwelling burglary and conspiracy to steal in relation to the Bedford offence and others across Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and Northamptonshire.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years at a young offenders institution at Huntingdon Law Courts today (20 January).

Alan Smith, of Ampthill Road, Kempston Hardwick, Bedfordshire, was charged with non-dwelling burglary in relation to the Bedford offence.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to five years and 10 months at Huntingdon Law Courts today (20 January).

Samuel Mitchell, of Elizabeth Way, Harlow, Essex, was charged with conspiracy to commit non-dwelling burglary and conspiracy to steal in relation to offences in Cambridgeshire and Northampton.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years and six months at a young offenders institution at Huntingdon Law Courts today (20 January).

Detective Chief Inspector Chris O’Brien said: “These offenders caused havoc and misery across three counties to both businesses and individuals.

“They stole cash and goods worth hundreds of thousands of pounds and caused a considerable amount of damage and financial loss to the businesses they targeted.

“The group was prolific, and I don’t believe they would have stopped offending if they hadn’t been caught.

“This was a challenging investigation and a real team effort between police and partner agencies.

“I want to thank all my officers, and everyone involved for their meticulous hard work and dedication, which has ultimately resulted in these offenders spending time behind bars.

“We take cases like this incredibly seriously and will work tirelessly to bring those responsible before the courts.

“I am so pleased justice has been done today and hope this serves as a warning to other would-be offenders.”

Chief Inspector O’Brien added: “Ram raids are most likely to take place during the winter months when the nights are darker.

“We need the public’s help to report anything suspicious or anything they see that might not seem quite right, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem.

“One call could make all the difference and potentially stop a store or petrol station being targeted.”

Police conduct regular patrols and members of the public are being asked to:

  • Ensure their vehicles have working trackers installed – particularly owners of high-performance cars, ‘heavy vehicles’ such as transits and flat beds which could be used to ram an ATM and plant.
  • Consider installing video doorbells or CCTV.
  • Report anything suspicious, for example people scoping houses or tampering with number plates.
  • Report any instances of people appearing to be paying attention to ATM machines, including taking photos or unauthorised people attaching ‘out of order’ signs to give an impression the machine is not working properly.
  • Raise concerns about anything that doesn’t feel quite right involving high performance cars, or heavy vehicles travelling in the vicinity towns and villages during the hours of darkness.
  • Report high-performance or ‘heavy’ vehicles that are not usually in the area and appear to have been left parked for a few days.

Concerns or information can be reported online via the force’s dedicated web chat page or by calling 101, quoting Op ATMosphere. Always call 999 in an emergency.

For more information on burglary and how to keep your property secure, visit the police website.

 

 

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