Ram-raid gangs roaming Cambridgeshire failed in two more attempts, police reveal

  • Staff at shops targeted by ram-raiders told ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson about the impact on their business

Ram-raiders have been thwarted in two attempted cashpoint thefts in a county which has endured a spate of linked attacks in the past six weeks, police have revealed.

Detectives were already linking three successful thefts in Cambridgeshire since 13 October, and have now revealed two further failed attempts.

They have told ITV News Anglia they are not linking them to the other three because of the different methods employed.

The raids have seen ATMs torn out of the wall with diggers and telehandlers, which were then left at the scene.

Det Ch Insp Chris O'Brien told ITV News Anglia: "We've had Bassingbourn, Whittlesey and Soham and then we've had two attempts in Linton, and there was an attempt in St Neots."

The attempt in St Neots was on 8 November, and the Linton incident was reported on 23 October. They are the fourth and fifth reported incidents in a matter of weeks.

The raids have forced police to put out more patrols, and launch an "ATM watch" community initiative.

As ram-raids are expected to increase with darker nights over the coming months, police also said they would be deploying undercover patrols alongside marked patrols in locations thought to be vulnerable to attack.

There have been incidents in Bassingbourn, Whittlesey and Soham.

Det Ch Insp O'Brien said: "We're looking at where we think may be more vulnerable to these sorts of offences, so we're making sure we've got patrols in these locations.

"We're not looking to pass this job off to the public, but this is a collective responsibility.

"[We need] the eyes and ears of the public which help give us that advantage which allow police to be deployed quickly and into the right places."

The aftermath of a ram-raid in Bassingbourn in October. Credit: ITV Anglia

He urged members of the community to be vigilant and said the signs that an attack may be imminent could be small.

He said: "We've had some examples of people taking photographs of cash machines. And then some of the quite obvious ones: quite often stolen vehicles are used, and these stolen vehicles, perhaps high-powered vehicles, may be parked in local neighbourhoods for maybe two, three, four days before a raid takes place."

He also said people should be aware of incidents which seemed out of the ordinary.

"Things like JCBs being driven about in the hours of darkness. Typically JCBs, plant material are not used at night, so if people see one being used at night I implore them to call 999. It could be that they're planning for an ATM attack, and we'll deploy resources."