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Gang jailed over botched raid

A gang who botched a cash point robbery before being spotted by police cameras hurtling down the motorway at 140mph has been jailed, police said.

The four men hacked into an ATM in Kenilworth, Warwickshire, with a circular saw, crowbars and a "jaws of life" hydraulic cutter - the type used by fire crews to rescue crash victims from vehicles.

But unable to reach the cash, they abandoned their plan and drove off in a stolen Audi RS7, reaching racetrack-like speeds on September 27 last year.

West Midlands Police officers picked up the car as it travelled northbound on the M42, while a police helicopter monitored its movements from the skies and directed officers to a block of flats when the gang gave up the chase.

Three of the men were arrested inside the flat, but the diver was pulled from dense bushes nearby by police dog handlers after thermal imaging cameras on-board the helicopter uncovered him.

Traffic officer Mitch Darby, who was involved in the pursuit, said: "The police helicopter picked up the Audi near Hampton-in-Arden before we spotted it heading north on the M42.

"We were trying to keep pace but even at 140mph they were pulling away... but they can't outrun the police helicopter.

"Camera operators on-board gave us a continual commentary of the car's movements and directed us to the flats where they tried hiding.

"Colleagues and police dogs quickly had a solid containment of the houses to make sure no-one could leave and it was only a matter of time before we arrested the offenders.

"It was a fantastic bit of teamwork, along with colleagues in Warwickshire Police who led the investigation, and a textbook arrest."

Driver Dean Beech, 37, Mark Kirk, 34, Pedro Taylor, 30, and Jason Hadley, 27, all admitted conspiracy to steal and aggravated vehicle taking at Birmingham Crown Court today, West Midlands Police said.

Beech was jailed two years, Kirk for 18 months and Taylor and Hadley for three years each for their part in the crime.

Beech and Kirk were also handed an extra 10 years each for plotting to rob a Birmingham jeweller in August 2013.


From Belfast Telegraph