Live updates

Gang jailed for long series of ram-raids in Kent

A gang of criminals who carried out ram-raids and break-ins across Gravesend and the Medway Towns have been jailed.

The four men were all convicted of conspiracy to burgle following a series of twelve offences last year.

The gang are beginning prison sentences totalling seventeen years.

Some of their offences were caught on CCTV footage, as Malcolm Shaw reports.

Ram raiders smash shop front but escape with no money

Ram raiders who targeted a shop in Oxfordshire have escaped with no money.

A stolen dark coloured Isuzu Trooper was driven in the front of the Co-op store on Shipton Road, Milton-under-Wychwood in the early hours of this morning.

The offenders then used the car to drag the cash machine out of the shop before driving off with the machine being dragged behind.

Several vehicles were damaged as the Isuzu Trooper tried to leave the village.

The ATM became disconnected and was found not far from the Co-op and no cash had been removed.

A further two vehicles were involved: a dark coloured BMW with a concealed number plate and a smaller white car, possibly a Vauxhall Corsa or Fiat 500. Several men wearing masks were seen at the Co-op.

The Isuzu Trooper was abandoned about a mile away from the scene and set on fire.

This was an audacious ram raid in a quiet village and I would like to reassure the local community that this is a rare occurrence. Several witnesses have already come forward but I would ask anyone who has any information or saw or heard anything suspicious, in the late evening or early morning to contact Thames Valley Police.

– Det Sgt Wendy Greenslade


  1. Tom Savvides

Ram raiders wreck shop but leave with nothing

Dramatic footage has been released of a ram raid on a shop in Kent. The raiders reversed a car at high speed into a cash point in Rochester. They caused severe damage to the front of the store but police say they escaped empty-handed. Tom Savvides reports.

  1. Sarah Saunders @SSaundersITV

WATCH: Ram raiders caught on camera as they smash through store front

Dramatic footage of a ram raid attack on a shop in Kent has been caught on camera.

The raiders smashed their way into a co-op in Rochester using what is thought to be a stolen vehicle, leaving a trail of destruction behind them.

The would-be thieves gave a steady nudge to shunt a parked car - followed by a high speed crash into the glass doors of the co-op on Delce Road in Rochester.

They left a scene of destruction behind them following the early hours attack on Thursday.

It was all filmed by the CCTV cameras of the builders merchants next door.

Unable to move the cash machine the raiders had been after - they are thought to have left the store without any money - armfuls of cigarettes believed to be their only haul.

Police are appealing for information

No arrests have been made.

CCTV image of cars involved in ram raid on bank

Did you see either of these two cars in Hedge End on Wednesday 30th March? Credit: Hampshire Constabulary

Hampshire Police have released a cctv image of two cars involved in a ram raid on the HSBC bank in Hedge End near Southampton in Hampshire.

The incident happened on Wednesday 30th March. A grey Vauxhall Astra was driven into the bank at about 10.30am. Three white men wearing balaclavas went in and stole a small quantity of money. They escaped in a white Audi.

“This happened mid-morning when there were lots of people in Hedge End village, so there are a lot of potential witnesses.

“We want to speak to anyone who saw these cars prior to the incident and to anyone who saw the white Audi A3 afterwards.

“We also know that some witnesses at the scene took photographs and filmed it on their mobile phones, so we would appeal to those people to contact us as this could prove to be vital evidence in this investigation.”

– Detective Sergeant Claire Shawley, Hampshire Police

The police have also issued an image of a steel beer barrel which was left at the scene.

The bank was cordoned off for some time after the raid
Do you know anything about this distinctive barrel?

“We believe that this barrel may have been stolen and would like to hear from anyone who has had one like this taken recently. It is quite distinctive, with a white and two blue stripes round the middle of it.”

– Detective Sergeant Claire Shawley, Hampshire Police

Anyone with information can contact Detective Constable Steve Roman on 101, quoting 44160121859, or alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Thieves carry out ram raid but get away with no money

Hampshire Constabulary are investigating a 'ram raid' style break-in at the Co-op store on Ringwood Road, Bransgore.

A stolen Land Rover Defender was driven into the front of the store and an attempt made to remove the cash machine inside by a group of men. This attempt was unsuccessful and nothing was taken from the store. No-one was hurt during the incident.

The men left the scene in a silver Honda Accord. This was later found abandoned in Brook.

Detectives are following lines of enquiry today and reviewing CCTV footage. At the current time the incident is not being linked to any other reports recently received by Police.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area or either vehicle should call 101 quoting 44150112691


Ram raiders steal vintage race car

Dramatic CCTV footage has been released of ram-raiders stealing a £120,000 vintage racing car in Surrey using a 4x4 - in just 60 seconds. The raiders reversed a Land Rover Defender in to a glass-fronted specialist car showroom, then used chains to attach the classic Ford Escort Mexico to their 4x4.

Footage issued through police showed one of the crooks getting behind the wheel of the car, which has the number 27 on its side and the registration plate DAD 422K. The thieves were then seen speeding off with the blue Mk1 1972 car in tow from the Trackspeed Classic car showroom in Portsmouth Road, Ripley.

"The footage released demonstrates the audacity of this crime and how it was clearly meticulously planned. I am hoping anyone who has any information which could help with the investigation will be mindful to contact officers as soon as possible and help us piece together exactly what has happened to this distinctive vehicle."

– Detective Sergeant Adam Tatton, of Surrey Police

Police are investigating whether a Land Rover Defender found burnt out in West Horsley was involved in Tuesday night's ram raid. Anyone with information is asked to call Surrey Police on 101, or the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Bungling robber jailed after knocking down the wrong wall

A bungling robber has been jailed for thirteen years for his part in an attempted raid on a cash depot. But Raymond Betson's attempt to steal more than a million pounds failed - when he knocked down the wrong wall with the digger he'd stolen. Betson had previously been jailed for his part in the attempted robbery of the diamonds at the Millennium Dome in the year 2000. Andrea Thomas reports. She spoke to Detective Inspector Rob Haines.

Botched cash depot raid - how Betson got it wrong

Bungling ex-millenium Dome robber Ray Betson botched a cash depot raid by breaking down the wrong wall!

Betson, 52, of Clifton Crescent, Folkestone, targeted the Loomis cash depot in Mark Way, Swanley, in the early hours of Friday 23 March 2012.

Just before 5am a heavy-duty digger, which had been stolen, was driven into the outside wall of the depot in a bid to knock it over and allow the offenders to gain internal access.

The digger rammed the wall a number of times before one of the robbers, who were armed with baseball bats and white sacks, climbed over the rubble only to find an empty room. The group then entered a nearby empty warehouse only to find it was empty too.

Less than a minute later, the offenders ran off empty handed.

Digger used in bunged raid Credit: Kent Police

Police later discovered an abandoned Mitsubishi 4x4 in a field which had become grounded on a dip, but inside they found a two-way radio, a baseball bat and large white bags.

In a nearby bush, a balaclava, a snood and a running stopwatch were also found allowing officers to calculate the time on the stopwatch and link it to the attempted robbery.

DNA gathered from the snood and the balaclava provided a near perfect match to Betson – there was less than one in a billion chance it could match anyone else.

Abandoned $x$ found grounded in a field Credit: Kent Police

Betson wanted to make a lot of money quickly and was significantly involved in this botched robbery.

‘The attempt displayed a level of violence, planning and organisation with the use of a digger, weapons such as baseball bats and a getaway vehicle.

‘But what went from an armed robbery quickly turned into a farce because they knocked down the wrong wall, then searched an empty warehouse and managed to render the getaway vehicle useless as they fled the scene, discarding equipment nearby.

Betson had been previously convicted for his part in the Millennium Dome robbery in November 2000.

– Rob Haines, from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate

Bungling Betson back behind bars

Bungling robber Ray Betson has been given a 13 year sentence today after his attempt to rob a multi-million pound cash depot in Swanley failed when he knocked down the wrong wall with a digger

Ray Betson sentenced to 13 years for bungled multi-million pound raid Credit: Kent Police
Digger used in the failed raid Credit: Kent Police

Betson will only serve 6-7 years in prison the rest of the time he will be on licence in the community.

He tried to break into the Swanley cash depot only months after being released jail for being the notorious ring leader of the Dome Raiders - the gang that planned to steal £200 million pounds worth of diamonds from the Millenium Dome, now called the O2.

Betson chose the wrong wall to try and break through Credit: Kent Police

The Dome Raiders planned to go down in history as the robbers who would pull off the biggest and most audacious robbery of the Millennium. An old fashioned smash-and-grab at a diamond exhibition in the Dome.

They boasted they would never be caught and prided themselves on their meticulous planning to keep them one step ahead of the law, using state of the art technology, anti-surveillance devices and had seemingly limitless funds for a sophisticated, military-styled operation which would reap a multi-million pound reward.

Ringleader Betson claimed they were not intending to hurt anyone when they smashed through the Dome entrance at high speed on a converted JCB digger dressed as terrorists with sledgehammers, ammonia and smoke grenades.

When they were caught red-handed they could not accept they had been simply out-manoeuvred by the Flying Squad.

At the trial one of the gang ruefully put it: "We would have got away with it but for the fact there were 140 police waiting for us."

Load more updates