Police helicopter searches for ram-raiders as two cash machines stolen in sixth raid in January

A JCB was used to smash the Tesco shopfront in Brandon overnight on Monday 24 January.
Credit: ITV News Anglia
The JCB was used to smash the Tesco shopfront in Brandon, Suffolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Police helicopter and dog teams were sent to hunt down ram-raiders who stole two cash machines after smashing into a Tesco supermarket - the sixth similar raid this month.

Thieves used a JCB to destroy the front of the store in Brandon, Suffolk, and remove the cash machines, lifting them on to the back of a flatbed Ford Transit.

The five male suspects then made off in the Transit and a black Audi A4 at some point between 1am and 2am, abandoning the stolen JCB in the car park, said Suffolk Police.

As they fled, they were seen by Ministry of Defence police officers who gave chase along the southbound A1065.

Both vehicles then turned right into Wangford Road, using the Ford Transit block police at the junction and the drivers ran away on foot.

Police called for back-up from the National Police Air Service helicopter and brought in dog units to search for the suspects, but they were not found.

Both cash machines were recovered, having been left behind on the abandoned Ford Transit.

The stolen JCB was left abandoned in the car park of Tesco in Brandon, Suffolk. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The JCB was later found to have been stolen from a farm in Watton in Norfolk, and the Ford Transit was stolen from a unit at the Foster Business Park in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

The raid is the sixth to have been reported in East Anglia since the turn of the year, with four thefts in Cambridgeshire and one in Hertfordshire being linked by investigating officers.

  • Thursday, 6 January - thieves stole the cash machine at the Nisa shop in Chatteris;

  • Friday, 7 January - the Co-op shop in Milton Road in Cambridge was smashed into but the raiders failed to steal the ATM;

  • Wednesday, 12 January - at around 1am a JCB was crashed into the Old Walsoken Post Office near Wisbech;

  • Wednesday, 12 January - at 4.18am, a police officer was injured after a police car was rammed when thieves made their getaway after a raid on a Co-op shop in Yaxley near Peterborough;

  • Friday, 14 January - ram-raiders demolished a Costcutter shopfront in Baldock, Hertfordshire just after midnight.

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock, the former health secretary, visited the scene on Monday morning and said he was "shocked" at the damage caused.