Thieves who blew up cash machines caught hiding in tree trunk after police chase around York

26 Nov 2020 @ 4.45 pm
| News

A man and a teenager who raided cash machines in two counties were caught after York police found them hiding in a tree trunk.

Frederick Squires, 38, of Castleacre Road, Swaffham, Norfolk and a 16 year-old from Doncaster were today (26 November) sentenced at York Crown Court for their crimes.

The pair blew up ATMs in Yorkshire and Leicestershire, driving to their targets in a stolen vehicle.

Around 2am on 10 March, a few days after the attacks, North Yorkshire Police officers spotted the stolen vehicle near York.

The vehicle took off at high speed as officers followed it with the pursuit continuing for some distance at speeds of over 100mph.

The vehicle then drove the wrong way round a roundabout before travelling along the wrong side of the A64 dual carriageway and shortly after was seen to crash into the car park barriers at the McArthur Glen York Designer Outlet.

Heat seeking helicopter

The police helicopter. Photograph: YorkMix

Officers began searching the area . The national police helicopter then spotted a heat source close to the River Ouse.

Investigating more closely, officers located the suspects hiding in a tree trunk and they were subsequently arrested.

Both men were charged with conspiracy to commit burglaries and conspiracy to cause explosions and Squires was also charged with aggravated vehicle taking.

They targeted ATMs at

  • the post office in Shepshed, Leicestershire (12.30am on 4 March) – the men pumped gas into the ATM and lit a fuse to cause an explosion. No money was stolen
  • the Jet garage in Adwick near Doncaster (3.15am that same day) – the same tactics opened the ATM and they stole £35K
  • the Coop in Starbeck near Harrogate (1am on 6 March). This attempt was unsuccessful.

The offences were all caught on CCTV and showed them driving the stolen vehicle under cloned registration plates.

Squires pleaded guilty to all charges and the 16 year old youth was found guilty following trial.

A third man who cannot currently be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to all charges but will be sentenced at a later date.

North Yorkshire Police Detective Superintendent, Fran Naughton, said: “The sentences given to these two individuals today are a clear demonstration that this type of crime will not be tolerated, either in North Yorkshire or across the country.

“Setting off an explosion inside an ATM is extremely dangerous, particularly one on a fuel station forecourt, and showed no regard for the safety of local residents in the properties nearby.”