WATCH: Shocking moment ram raiders drive at police officers after stealing cash machine from Co-op
PUBLISHED: 16:09 07 February 2019 | UPDATED: 17:18 07 February 2019
"They showed wanton disregard for life and property."
That was the reaction of a detective this week as two men were sentenced for stealing a cash machine in a ram-raid and then driving “extremely dangerously” at police officers as they tried to flee.
The “bravery” of the officers involved in the pursuit and arrests of the two men from Bedfordshire was hailed after the pair were sentenced.
Jack Morgan, 21, and a 17-year-old boy from the Bedford area – who cannot be named for legal reasons – received custodial sentences for their involvement in a burglary at the Co-op convenience store in Kessingland in September last year, during which a cash machine was stolen and a police officer had a car driven at him.
Morgan, of Common Road, Potton, appeared at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday, January 29, where he was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
He had pleaded guilty to burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and attempted theft of a motor vehicle.
The 17-year-old boy from the Bedford area was previously sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday, December 11.
He pleaded guilty to charges of dangerous driving, burglary, theft of a vehicle and attempted theft of a vehicle in connection with the incident in Kessingland, receiving a four-month detention and training order for each offence – three of which are to run concurrently.
He was also sentenced to an additional 10-month detention and training order after being convicted of a separate burglary conspiracy involving offences across the eastern region, totalling 14 months combined with the other crimes. He was also disqualified from driving for 19 months.
Det Insp Matt Adams, of East CID at Lowestoft police station, said: “Jack Morgan and his 17-year-old accomplice were apprehended as a result of excellent police work and I would like to take this opportunity to commend the bravery of the officers involved in the pursuit and arrests of these two individuals.
“They showed wanton disregard for life and property, with the 17-year-old driving the vehicle extremely dangerously and almost crushing one officer who was very fortunate to escape without sustaining life-changing injuries.
“As determined as they were to evade capture, our officers were more determined to find and detain them.
“These types of crime cause businesses thousands of pounds of worth of damage and the thorough police investigation which followed has ensured that these two will now spend time in custody for their actions.”
Police officer had to climb up onto a wall ‘to avoid being squashed’
Police were called at 2.40am on Monday, September 10 following reports of a burglary in progress at the Co-op store in Field Lane, Kessingland.
The front window of the building was smashed to break into the building and a green Land Rover Defender was then used to drag out the cash machine.
However, the Land Rover became stuck and was abandoned at the scene, as the offenders attached the cash machine to the back of a blue Volkswagen Golf and drove off towards the beach.
Police units located the VW Golf after it turned into Church Road and then towards Kessingland Beach caravan park, which is a dead end.
A police spokesman said: “Two marked police cars attempted to contain the VW Golf in this cul-de-sac, and the officers got out of their vehicles.
“The VW Golf then drove directly at the police cars, colliding with both of them and causing one officer to climb up onto a wall to avoid being squashed between it and his car.”
Drone and police dog locate the offenders
As the drama unfolded, it emerged that the cash machine fell out of the car as it drove off towards the A12.
The vehicle was then seen by police entering the southbound carriageway in the wrong direction. A police car followed the vehicle on the opposite carriageway, with the VW Golf reaching speeds of more than 100mph.
The suspects abandoned their car in Romany Lane and following extensive searches of the area, the 17-year-old boy was found hiding in bushes by a police dog handler at around 4am.
At around 5.30am, Morgan emerged from some undergrowth and made himself known to officers who used a drone to search the area.
The 17-year-old boy was found to have been driving the VW Golf, as he and Morgan carried out the burglary together, “possibly with other suspects who have not been identified,” according to police.
They stole the Land Rover Defender from a property in Gisleham earlier that morning and were also convicted of the attempted theft of a Land Rover Discovery from a premises in Barley Way, Lowestoft, at around 1.40am on September 10.