Thieves who tried to blow up a cash machine near Maidstone jailed

Contributed by editor on Sep 10, 2019 - 04:30 PM

Two men from Sittingbourne who attempted to blow-up a cash machine with a gas canister in Paddock Wood, near Maidstone have been jailed.

The 36 and 22-year-old, both from Sittingbourne, tried to blow up the cashpoint on Commercial Road so they could still steal the money inside.

After their attempt failed, they fled the scene and were later discovered by a police dog hiding underneath a nearby caravan. The pair were sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Monday 9 September 2019.


Loud bang

The court heard that in early hours of 17 May 2019 a witness heard a loud bang and looked out of a window towards the cash machine at the Nationwide Building Society in Paddock Wood.


He saw a silver Subaru parked outside the bank with the boot parked closely to the cash machine. The car then drove off.


The vehicle returned to the scene and the pair, wearing gloves and masks, got out of the car. The younger man inserted a hose which was connected to a gas canister into the cash machine whilst the old man crouched down inside a nearby doorway in readiness for the explosion. When it failed the pair got back into the Subaru and drove off.

Officers who attended the scene spotted the Subaru which took off at speed along Parsons Green Road.


Losing sight of the vehicle officers noticed a maroon gas canister had been thrown onto the roadside. A search of the area was conducted and officers found a discarded length of hose and some electrical cable.


The Subaru was discovered abandoned in a farmer’s field off Queen Street. With the help of a police dog, the pair were tracked down and found hiding underneath a caravan.

Both pleaded guilty to attempted theft and conspiracy to cause explosions at Maidstone Crown Court. The 22-year-old was sentenced to five years and six months and while the older man received six years and four months.

Detective Inspector James Derham of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: ‘Offenders of this type do not consider the impact cash machine thefts have on the community – the damage that is caused to buildings, businesses and the threat to the public. I am pleased the judge has imposed a significant sentence meaning that society will no longer have to deal with their criminal activities and their reckless behaviour.’


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