Men jailed for attempted ATM attack Date published: 9th March 2017 9.07am

Three men have been jailed for almost 20 years in relation to an attempted attack on an ATM cash machine.
Carl Hargin, 31, Kieran Patrick Shortman, 31, and Craig Cox, 27, all from the Salford area, pleaded guilty to a number of offences relating to a planned ATM attack that was thwarted by officers from Cheshire Police.

The trio appeared at Chester Crown Court on 6 March and pleaded guilty aggravated vehicle taking, conspiracy to cause and explosion and conspiracy to steal and were each handed sentences of 6 years 4 months.

The charges followed an incident at approximately 3.00am on 14 October 2016 when PC Gareth Hawkins and PC Philip Reeves were on patrol in an unmarked police car near Handforth.

As the officers travelled along Wilmslow Road their attention turned towards a Black Audi A3, with four men on board, which was travelling in the opposite direction.

The officers quickly turned around and followed the car at a safe distance. As they got closer the vehicle the driver made off at high speed and the officers began to pursuit it as it travelled towards Poynton.

The pursuit continued for several miles, with the Audi reaching speeds of up to 110 miles per hour. On two occasions during the pursuit the Audi stopped and one of the passengers got out and attacked the police car with a sledgehammer, before getting back into the car and driving off. On the second occasion the police car sustained serious damage and was unable to continue with the pursuit.

The Audi then drove off from the scene, eventually coming to a stop on Woodford Road after the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the garden of a nearby address. All of the men then fled the scene on foot.

The Audi was quickly located by officers, and inside the vehicle they recovered a variety of materials and equipment, which showed that the men had gone out with the intention to carry out an attack on an ATM machine.

After recovering the vehicle officers launched a full investigation leading to the arrest of Hargin and Shortman on 25 October, who were both found in the Salford area. Cox was arrested on 19 November after being located in the Preston area.

Following questioning Cox, Hargin and Shortman were all charged with aggravated vehicle taking, conspiracy to cause and explosion and conspiracy to steal.

Detective Inspector Claire Jesson said: “I’d like to thank all of the officers that were involved in this investigation, as a result of their hard work and the overwhelming evidence that they gathered, the offenders in the case were left with no option but to plead guilty to all of the charges brought against them.

“I would particularly like to acknowledge the efforts of PC Hawkins and PC Reeves. Between them they have more than 16-years of service and both have said that this incident was the most vicious and brutal incident that they have ever experienced in their whole careers.

“Thankfully the pair were not injured during the attack and, as a result of their courage, bravery and ingenuity they were able to prevent a major ATM attack, which could have resulted in the theft of thousands of pounds.

“I hope the sentences handed down to these men act as a warning to other offenders who are looking to come to Cheshire to commit crime. Cheshire is not an easy target and we will do all that we can to locate and prosecute anyone who comes to Cheshire to commit crime.”