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Trio who stolen an ATM and led police on a chase across three counties jailed

Three men who used a JCB to steal a cashpoint in Liphook and then led police on a pursuit across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex have been jailed for a total of 15 years.

The men, who admitted to being involved in a plot to rip a cashpoint from the wall of the Co-Op on Headley Road on May 7th 2019, were sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday 11th July.

The defendants used a stolen JCB telehandler to wrench the ATM out of the shop's wall and then dropped it in the back of a stolen transit van before making off.

All three were caught following a pursuit by officers from Hampshire Constabulary, Surrey Police and a helicopter from the National Police Air Service.

Joseph Beech, who's 46 and from Applegarth Avenue in Guildford, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to burgle.

Daniel Hilton, who's 33 and from The Mead in Liphook was given four and a half years for conspiracy to burgle and six months for dangerous driving after admitting being the driver of the getaway vehicle. His sentences will be served consecutively.

And finally, James Sayers, who's 29 and from Rushett Common in Brambley in Guildford, was sentenced to five years for conspiracy to burgle.

His Honour Judge Cutler, who sentenced the trio, described the burglary as a "professional and ruthless" crime that would have had a significant impact on a small town like Liphook.

The judge added he was unable to overlook "the shock and impact a crime like this causes, not to mention the thousands of pounds worth of damage to the shop frontage and stock".

He also said: "It must be of note for me to commend the police who were clearly very efficient in getting to the scene and tracking down the offenders so quickly.

"They were caught red handed and rightly arrested."

At the scene of the crime a stolen Transit van and BMW M5 were found.

The transit had had its roof cut off and CCTV was able to capture the moment the telehandler dropped the stolen cash machine and its contents through the opening in to the back of the van.

After stealing the ATM the offenders abandoned the JCB in the middle of the road, leaving the scene in the van and BMW.

You can see in the video below the offence taking place and the police pursuit which followed:

Detective Constable Jo Murphy, from Hampshire Police, said: "This was an audacious attempt to steal a cashpoint machine from a village shop - causing thousands of pounds worth of damage and unquantifiable disruption.

"As it turned out, their criminal activities were disrupted on the night by the sterling joint work of officers from Hampshire, Surrey and NPAS.

"There followed a complex and lengthy investigation and I would like to thank everyone who was involved in bringing these criminals justice."

Sgt John Clarke, from Surrey Police's Roads Policing Unit, added: "We were able to respond immediately as soon as we became aware that the suscpects were in Surrey.

"Working with our neighbouring forces is key to ensuring that we bring cross-border criminals to justice.

"ATM thefts cause misery and massive inconvenience for those businesses which are targeted, as well as causing a great deal of concern within the local commuity.

"The sentence given to these three men today has ensured that they will not be able to inflict further misery for a considerable period of time."

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