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Ram-raid burglar jailed, Cornwall and North Devon

Cahill Anthony 240685.jpg

Gang's stealing spree ended with botched bid to steal ATM

A crime gang member from Liverpool who ram-raided a Cornwall village shop in a botched bid to steal its cashpoint has been jailed for four years.

Anthony Cahill, 35, was one of a quartet of masked crooks who went on an early-hours stealing spree before the smash-and-grab on the Co-Op in Kilkhampton.

The group swiped heavy-duty slings from a crane hire business in Barnstaple, North Devon, then stole a pick-up truck and car from the forecourt of a dealership in Holsworthy.

They then headed to Kilkhampton, near Bude, and smashed the 4x4 Ford Ranger into the doors of the Co-Op.

But the gang’s efforts to wrench the ATM free using the slings and the pick-up truck failed.

They caused thousands of pounds-worth of damage to the business and pinched booze and vaping kit before fleeing in the stolen vehicles.

Cahill, of Kirkby in Liverpool, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary and was sentenced to four years in prison by a judge at Truro Crown Court on Thursday 14 January.

His three accomplices remain at large and detectives are appealing for information that could help bring them to justice.

The court heard Cahill was one of a criminal quartet who travelled from Liverpool to Devon to embark on the well-planned burglary spree in the early hours of 28 June 2019.

They first broke into a crane hire company’s compound on the Roundswell industrial estate in Barnstaple and took several heavy-duty slings that were locked away on the site.

The gang then made their way to a car dealership on the outskirts of Holsworthy, gained entry to its garage and took the keys to a Ford Ranger pick-up and a VW Golf.

After stealing the vehicles from the forecourt, they returned on foot with power tools and tried in vain to crack the business’s safe. 

Police were alerted to the noise at around 2.50am but the offenders evaded officers and headed to Kilkhampton.

They drove the pick-up truck through the front doors of the village’s Co-Op before tying the stolen slings to the cashpoint and the Ford Ranger’s rear bumper.

However, their efforts to drive the 4x4 off and dislodge the bolted-down ATM failed when one of the slings snapped.

The gang then tried to raid the store’s tills and cigarette counter before fleeing with a limited haul of stock.

They abandoned the Ford Ranger on the outskirts of Kilkhampton and made their way back to Liverpool.

Detectives quickly linked all three burglaries and, through CCTV, forensics and the recovery of items, were able to identify potential suspects.

Cahill was located and arrested in Liverpool and initially denied all knowledge of the crimes when interviewed.

Three other suspects were arrested in connection with the burglaries but were released without charge.  

Detective Constable Andrew Colley said: “This was clearly a well-organised and maliciously-planned crime.

“The culprits researched the locations and the layout of each, identifying what they needed in order to remove the ATM from Kilkhampton, and took various precautions to avoid detection and identification.

“The group caused significant losses and disruption to a local business.

“I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to anyone who may hold vital information in bring the remaining three suspects to justice.

“Please contact 101@dc.police.uk quoting CR/057432/19 or you can also give information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

“Devon and Cornwall Police will always deal robustly with those who mistakenly believe that our area is an easy target for such offending.”


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