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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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."
Ray Betson has been sentenced to 13 years, half in custody and half on licence for trying to break into a bank months after being released from prison.
A bungling robber who failed to break into a cash depot in Kent when he attacked the wrong wall with a JCB will be sentenced today. Raymond Betson - who's 52 and from Clifton Crescent in Folkestone - was found guilty of armed robbery last month. Betson was the mastermind behind the failed Millenium Dome diamond heist.
Detectives in Poole have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to talk to as they investigate a robbery.
A 16-year-old boy got on a yellow bus at Bournemouth University and got off to walk down an alleyway which joins Fern Barrow and McWilliam Close on 25th June just after 8pm.
He was grabbed from behind in the alleyway and put into a headlock by a man.
The teenager was made to give over his watch and mobile phone. The offended then ran off.
Police urge the man pictured or anyone who recognises him to contact the police as soon as possible on 101, quoting 25:46.
Kent Police is appealing for information after a disabled woman was robbed of her walking frame on the Isle of Sheppey. On 12th July, the victim - a woman in her 60s - was at the bus stop along Minster Road when two men holding cans of lager walked up to her.
They made derogatory comments to her about her disability and as they walked past, one reached out and punched her on the arm, causing her to fall over.
The pair then grabbed her walking frame and ran off with it, running down the road and disappearing down an alleyway.
The woman cut her arm when she fell and was left shocked and distressed.
This was a revolting act of mindless aggression against a vulnerable lady who cannot walk far without the aid of her frame. To verbally abuse and belittle her is low enough but to knock her down and steal the frame, leaving her helpless on the ground, is truly despicable and I'm sure the entire community shares our disgust. We are following up a number of lines of enquiry in relation to this and would welcome any information from the public.'
CCTV images have been released of a man who robbed a bank in the Wallisdown area of Poole.
It happened at 10am yesterday morning at the Barclays Bank on Bryant Road.
Staff handed over a large amount of cash after the man came in and demanded money.
He left the bank and got into a light green coloured Peugeot car that was driven by another person in the direction of Mossley Road.
A security pack from the bank containing red dye is believed to have discharged in the vehicle, which would have covered the inside of the car and the people in it.
The man has been described as white, around 5' 10" tall and wearing a blue tape or bandana to hide his face. He was wearing a light blue Kappa tracksuit top, black Nike tracksuit bottoms which had a white Nike tick on the left, white Nike Air trainers and a brown cap.
Anyone who may have information on this robbery is asked to call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 10:98.
Detectives investigating a robbery in Edenbridge have released an e-fit image of a man they would like to speak to.
A car driver and a passenger were attacked on 26 June after they had stopped because two men were blocking the road.
The victim’s had been travelling along Lingfield Road at around 10.55pm when they first noticed two men standing in the street close to the junction with Coomb Field.
After the driver had stopped the car one of the men reached through his window.
He grabbed the keys from the ignition and punched the driver in the face before running off.
The passenger in the car gave chase but was then set upon by the second man who repeatedly punched him in the head.
As the driver of the vehicle then tried to help his friend he was punched again by the man who had had first attacked him and who had reappeared from an alleyway.
One of the men then leaned through the driver’s door and stole a laptop from the back seat, before they both fled when another vehicle began to approach the scene.
Officers have now released an e-fit of one of the men.
He was described as white and aged between 30 and 40. He was of medium build with very short hair and was wearing a tan coloured cardigan.
The second offender was white, aged 17 to 19 and around 5ft 6ins tall. He had short light brown hair and was wearing a blue long sleeved jumper.
Kent Police have released CCTV footage of a man they want to talk to in connection with a robbery in Hoo. A memebr of staff at Coral bookmakers in Hoo was threatened before handing over cash.