Robbers - who hid overnight in shop loft and pounced on worker - jailed

Credit: Kent Police

Two men have been jailed for a combined total of 13 years and four months following a robbery at a Kent business.

Reece Whiting - who's 25 and from Sheerness - and Ricky Chambers, 27, from Warden broke into the commercial premises on Main Road in Queenborough in September last year. Once inside, they hid in the loft until a staff member opened the shop the following morning.

CCTV showed the pair dropping down from the loft hatch, wearing balaclavas and demanding the female staff member, who was working alone, hand them the keys to a safe.

When the victim refused Chambers punched her in the face, knocking her to the ground.

The staff member then handed them the keys to the safe - where they stole thousands of pounds of cash before fleeing the scene. A third man - getaway driver, Michael Chambers - who'd been waiting outside the store - drove the three away in a stolen Volkswagen Polo. The car was found a short time later on fire in Edenbridge Drive, Sheerness.

Police were called to the shop at 5.40am on Tuesday 13th September 2016.

Officers investigating the incident arrested Ricky Chambers later the same day, as they were seen driving near the Sheppey Crossing.

When officers searched the vehicle they found bags in the boot which contained large quantities of cash. They also found a crowbar inside the loft of the store where the men had hid.

Michael Chambers was identified through a DNA match after officers found his DNA on a drinks can in the vehicle.

Reece Whiting, 25, and Ricky Chambers, 27, have been jailed for a total of 13 years Credit: Kent Police

Ricky Chambers was jailed for six years and eight months after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He was also ordered to serve an additional four months in prison for an unconnected incident.

Reece Whiting also pleaded guilty to the same charge and was jailed for six years and eight months.

A third man, Michael Chambers, 31 and of no fixed address, was sentenced to five years in prison in connection with this incident.

This was a serious and organised pre-planned robbery in which the men hid in the loft waiting for the victim to arrive in the morning. She bravely refused to hand over the keys but was met with force by Chambers who did not care what injury he inflicted. The sentences reflect the gravity of this incident and I’m pleased we have achieved justice for the victim by taking these three dangerous individuals off the street."

– Detective Constable Michael Wills, investigating officer