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Breaking News: Police link three ram-raids in Harlow………………

Communities / Mon 28th Sep 2015 at 04:53pm

DETECTIVES believe the thefts of three cash machines in the Harlow area are linked.

The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate is investigating the incidents, which all took place at shops in the last four weeks.

A JCB digger was used to remove a cash machine from the outside wall of Martins newsagents in Prentice Place, Harlow, shortly before 1.45am on Saturday, September 26.

It was loaded onto a waiting van or pick up truck, which left the scene with a red car, believed to be an Audi.

Up to eight suspects are believed to have been involved in the theft.

Substantial damage was caused to the wall and the machine contained a five figure sum of cash.

The JCB, which was later confirmed to have been stolen, was left at the scene and a window of a red Kia Cee’d nearby was smashed.

It followed an incident at 2am on Wednesday, September 16 when a forklift truck was driven through the window of the McColl’s store in High Street, Roydon.

Up to four men are thought to have used the forklift to remove an ATM from the wall and load it on to a red Hilux pick-up truck.

The truck and cash machine were found abandoned near a cricket ground and allotments in Occupation Lane at 2.50am and a white Kia Sportage car was found nearby.

The pick-up, car and forklift truck had all been stolen in the previous 48 hours.

Although the ATM was damaged, the five-figure sum of cash inside remained intact and detectives believe the thieves abandoned plans to break it open because it was bigger than expected.

Detectives are also investigating the theft of an ATM containing a five figure sum of cash from The Food Store in The Chase, Harlow.

A red Mitsubishi Shogun was reversed into the shutters at about 3.15am on Friday, August 28, causing substantial damage to the shop premises.

The vehicle was left at the scene and seized for forensic examination.

DCI Stuart Smith, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “We now believe all three thefts are linked and we are carrying out extensive enquiries to find out who is responsible and bring them to justice.

“There have been a number of similar incidents across the eastern region and we are working closely with our colleagues in the Eastern Region Special Operations Unit.

“As well as appealing for anyone with information to come forward, I would also particularly ask people such as taxi drivers and lorry drivers who are out on the road late at night or in the early hours of the morning to be on the look-out for forklift trucks, telehandlers and similar vehicles being driven around.

“It is unusual for this type of machinery to be on public roads at these times.

“I would also urge farmers and construction workers to make sure their vehicles are stored securely and ideally fitted with tracking devices.”

Anyone with information about the ongoing police investigation into the three thefts is asked to call the Serious and Organised Crime Unit on 101.

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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