TWO men who carried out a shocking robbery on a Co-op convenience store at Orford by pulling a cash machine from the premises with a tow rope, have been jailed.
The men smashed the ATM at the Co-op on Orford Lane and attacked it with a sledge hammer before using a tow rope to remove it from the premises. The incident was captured on video by a passerby.
It was shortly after 9pm on Monday 15 June when 26-year-old Thomas Eden and 31-year-old Christopher Jones pulled up at speed in a black pick-up truck.
The two staff members inside the Co-op store were told to get out of the way while Jones, of no fixed address, brandished a crow bar.
Eden, of Lovel Road and Jones, of no fixed address, then walked into the store also armed with the sledge hammer and attempted to force the front of the ATM off.
Jones then attached a tow rope to the cash machine to gain access to the discard tray.
The pair then took the tray back to the pick-up truck and made off at speed.
Eden and Jones abandoned the vehicle on Dudley Street and got into a Seat Ibiza where they travelled towards Widnes before abandoning it on Ditton Road.
Officers with assistance from National Police Air Support (NPAS) began a thorough search of that area and spotted Eden and Jones running through gardens.
The men were arrested in the garden of a bungalow near to a pub on Halebank Road.
On Wednesday 5 August both men appeared at Liverpool Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.
Eden was sentenced to three years and eight months for robbery and Jones was jailed for five years and eight months for robbery and absconding from HMP Thorn Cross on Christmas Eve in 2019.
Detective Sergeant Tom Hall, from Warrington Police’s Beat Initiative Team, said: “Eden and Jones terrified two members of staff as they brazenly robbed the store in full view of the public who were filming them in action.
“They had planned their attack by swapping vehicles after fleeing from the scene and then attempted to evade police by running through people’s gardens and hiding in bushes.
“I want to thank the public who came forward to provide information, the hard work of the officers who captured the suspects and the detectives investigating the case.
“It certainly played a part in the men admitting to their crimes and ensuring they were put behind bars.”
Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane said: “These two men shocked the local community as they attacked the cash machine in broad daylight in front of passers-by.
“I welcome the sentences handed to them and I hope it sends a clear message to other offenders who look to come to Cheshire to commit crime.
“I also would like to praise those members of the community who provided information to the police and to the officers who worked hard to ensure the criminals were brought to justice.”