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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."

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Ram raiding lorry driver jailed for five years

The ram raid in Southampton Credit: Adam Easton

A lorry driver who ram-raided a Southampton jewellers and took expensive watches has been jailed for nearly five years. 54 year old Gary Barnes, of no fixed abode was charged with robbery. Police were called to Parkhouse and Wyatt jewellers in Above Bar Street in February.

An articulated lorry had been reversed down the road and into the jeweller’s window, where the driver helped himself to watches, officers said. Barnes then fled from the scene in the white Mercedes cab of the lorry, leaving the trailer behind in the jeweller’s window and blocking the busy road.

A few minutes later, police spotted the cab in Shirley Avenue. When officers attempted to pull it over, he reversed into the police car.

Man charged over lorry ram raid

A man has been charged with robbery following a ram raid at a Southampton jewellery shop.

Yesterday 10.12am police were called to Parkhouse and Wyatt jewellers in Above Bar Street after an articulated lorry was reversed down the road and into the jeweller's window.

Gary Barnes, 54-years-old, of no fixed abode has been charged with robbery.

He will appear at Southampton Magistrates Court today.

Pictures - Lorry used in Southampton ram raid

Ram raid in Southampton this morning. Credit: Adam Easton

Police in Southampton say they arrested a suspected ram raider just nine minutes after an articulated lorry was reversed into a city centre jeweller’s.

At 10am this morning, police were called to Parkhouse and Wyatt jewellers in Above Bar Street. An articulated lorry had been reversed down the road and into the jeweller’s window, where the driver helped himself to watches, officers said.

Ram raid in Southampton this morning. Credit: Adam Easton

The thief then fled from the scene in the white Mercedes cab of the lorry, leaving the trailer behind in the jeweller’s window and blocking the busy road.

A few minutes later, police spotted the cab in Shirley Avenue. When officers attempted to pull it over, the driver reversed into the police car.

No one was injured, and police arrested a 54-year-old Portsmouth man at 10.21am.

Above Bar Street remains closed for scenes of crime investigation and recovery of the trailer. The police car and Mercedes cab are being recovered from Howard Grove, Shirley.

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Attempted ram raid - more details from police

Scene of the bungled raid earlier this morning. Credit: Adastra Media

Police have released more details following the attempted ram raid in hassocks, Sussex, this morning.

Officers were called oat 3.15am to Barclays Bank in Keymer Road, after residents reported that an industrial digger vehicle had driven into the front of the bank, dragging out the cashpoint machine.

The digger placed the machine on an adjacent blue Toyota pick-up truck but the drivers of both vehicles then ran off in the direction of Chancellors Park leaving the unopened cash machine on the truck.

Both men are described as wearing dark clothing, and the truck driver is additionally described as being about 6', slim, and wearing a hoody.

The digger had been stolen during the same night from a quarry at Plumpton in East Sussex.

Det Sgnt Steve Tattersall said: "The enquiry is at an early stage and it is not yet clear why the two men abandoned the vehicles and ran off without the cash machine.

"There have been no recent such offences in Sussex and at present we are not linking this with any offences elsewhere in the country."

Ram raid - more pictures of demolished bank

Ram raid in Hassocks Credit: Charlotte Wilkins

Police are searching for two men who abandoned a cash machine in the middle of a West Sussex street after using an industrial digger to pull it out of a wall.

Residents reported that the digger was driven into the front of Barclays Bank, in Keymer Road, Hassocks, at about 3.15am, dragging out the cash point, which was installed in the wall of the building, Sussex Police said.

The machine was loaded on to a blue Toyota pick-up truck but the drivers of both vehicles, who were wearing dark clothing, ran off towards Chancellors Park leaving the unopened cash machine on the truck, the spokesman said.

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