Six arrests as police investigate ATM thefts and burglaries

Billingshurst ram raid earlier this year SUS-180211-162322001
Billingshurst ram raid earlier this year SUS-180211-162322001

Six people have been arrested - four of whom have been charged - in connection with an investigation into ATM thefts and burglaries across the South, including two raids in the Horsham district, police announced today (December 21).

Police said 70 officers from across Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire raided premises in West Surrey and North East Hampshire as the force continues to investigate the thefts of cash machines from the three counties.

The Horsham district was targeted by two ram raids in just over a month with ATMs stolen from High Street in Billingshurst and Co-op in Rudgwick earlier this year.

Police said the six arrests were made on Thursday morning (December 20) in connection with investigations into ATM thefts and burglaries.

Police said Jimmy Shea, 24 of Nursery Road, Alton, was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary (non dwelling) and conspiracy to steal motor vehicles.

Les Keet, 29, of Cobbetts Close, Normandy was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary (non dwelling), conspiracy to steal motor vehicles, conspiracy to commit burglary (dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery.

The pair have been remanded in custody to appear at Guildford Crown Court on January 18.

Two other men have also appeared in court, police said.

Eric Summerfield, 63, of Walnut Tree Close, Guildford was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary (dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Melvyn Beech, 47, of Kingston Road, Leatherhead was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary (dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery.

Both have been remanded in custody to appear at Guildford Crown Court on January 18.

Police added a further man remains in police custody for questioning whilst a sixth has been released on bail while enquiries continue.

Head of Serious Organised Crime for Surrey and Sussex, Detective Superintendent Karen Mizzi said: “Recent ATM thefts have posed a severe risk and danger to the public and it has a severe impact on rural communities who rely on these machines.

“Attacks on ATMs is a national issue and one affecting all forces at present. We are working hard with all of our neighbouring forces to ensure there is a joined up approach to catching offenders and establish if there are any links between crimes.

“We will keep you updated as and when there is new information to share, and in the meantime I appreciate your patience and understanding while these investigations continue.”

Anyone with any further information is asked to contact police on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

Police said the offending period extended from May 2018 to December 2018 and covers 11 offences in three counties which are as follows:

1. 09/07/18 1.20am - Tesco Express, Ridgway Rd, Farnham

2. 14/08/18 2am - CO-OP, Wych Hill, Woking

3. 17/08/18 3am - Halifax, West Street, Farnham

4. 09/09/18 2.45am - CO-OP, Rudgwick, Sussex

5. 19/09/18 4.25am - Nutbourne Service Station, Nutbourne, Chichester

6. 21/09/18 3am - Sleaford Service Station, Bordon, Hampshire

7. 03/10/18 1.30am - Co-op, Hambledon Rd, Denmead, Hampshire

8. 12/10/18 4.20am - Sainsbury’s Local, High Street, Billingshurst, Sussex

9. 04/11/18 4.43am - Lloyds Bank, Ockham Rd South, East Horsley

10. 05/11/18 4.30am - Tesco Express, Vale Way, Kingsworthy, Winchester

11. 17/11/18 4.03am - HSBC Bank, 74 High Street, Alton