Saturday, February 06, 2016

Bank raiders caught after empty ATM fell out of back of getaway van during police chase

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 Ronald Keegan and Marc Andrew Shelton, both 33, broke into the Halifax bank in Sale, Cheshire, just after midnight on December 12 last year. They wrapped chains around the ATM, which had an out of order sign on it, before yanking it out and driving off. But Minshull St Crown Court in Manchester heard how their attempts to escape failed after they were spotted by police who noticed the back door of the van was open.

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. Stella Massey, prosecuting, told Judge John Potter how both men were caught following a search by the police helicopter. She said that Shelton, of Sale, was arrested after jumping over a fence.

The officer told him it was “on suspicion of robbery”, to which Shelton replied: “It’s not robbery it’s burglary.” Keegan, also of Sale, was found “red in the face” and out of breath in a wheelie bin, immediately telling officers: “I’m bang to rights, I’ll hold my hands up. Lock me up.” 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. 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 that the plan had not been to steal from the shop, but to in fact release pigeons inside to defecate 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 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.

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