Bungling thieves caught stealing empty cash machine after it fell out of their getaway van during police chase

Jamie Ronald Keegan Credit: GMP

A pair of bungling bank raiders were caught stealing an empty cash machine after it fell out of the back of their getaway van during a police chase.

Jamie Keegan and Marc Shelton, both 33, broke into the Halifax bank on School Road, Sale, just after midnight.

They wrapped chains around the ATM – which had an out of order sign on it – before yanking it out and driving off.

But Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard how their attempts to escape failed after they were spotted by police who noticed the back door of the van was open.

Marc Andrew Shelton Credit: GMP

The vehicle appeared to be dragging something behind it causing sparks in the road, but when officers tried to get it to pull over it sped off.

Police gave chase, and realised a large metal chain was hanging from the back, hitting and damaging parked cars as the paid fled in the van.

The stolen ATM – valued at around £100,000 – then fell out of the back of the vehicle, hitting another car, but the crooks drove off, during the raid on December 12.

Stella Massey, prosecuting, told Judge John Potter how both men were caught following a search by the police helicopter.

She said that Shelton, of Thirsk Avenue, Sale, was arrested after jumping over a fence.

The officer told him it was ‘on suspicion of robbery’, to which Shelton replied:

Keegan, also of Thirsk Avenue in Sale, was found ‘red in the face’ and out of breath in a wheelie bin, immediately telling officers:

The court heard how the pair had been arrested previously following a break in at a motorcycle shop in north Wales on September 21 last year.

A neighbour of Colwyn Bay Motorcycles had called police after seeing two men on the roof of the store, getting in through a broken skylight.

The Halifax branch after the raid Credit: MEN SYNDICATION

As officers arrived, they ran off but were later found in a nearby phone box in Old Colwyn and arrested.

They told an earlier hearing at Llandudno magistrates court that the plan had not been to steal from the shop, but to in fact release pigeons inside to defacate on the motorcycles and wreck them after the store had refused Shelton credit.

This was confirmed after a box with two pigeons was found nearby – both were rehomed.

Shelton was earlier sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to burglary with intent to cause damage for the motorbike shop raid.

Keegan had been sent to crown court for both that and the cash machine case. Judge Potter sentenced Keegan to six months for the north Wales matter in line with his co-defendant after he too had pleaded guilty.

Both Shelton and Keegan were then jailed for 40 months for the ATM burglary, which they both pleaded guilty to, which will run concurrently.