Police come under fire during ram raid

An eye witness to a ram raid in Stotfold has told how the gang threw bricks at the police before making their getaway.

John McBurney watched horrified as the balaclava-wearing gang forced the police to take cover before making their getaway.

Only minutes earlier his wife Kate had called the police after being woken by a loud bang as the gang used a construction vehicle to target a cash machine in Regents Street in the early hours of Wednesday.

Mr McBurney watched from his loft window as the gang’s getaway vehicle was blocked by the police, but officers were then forced to retreat after coming under fire.

Some of the gang then fled in a blue getaway car, closely followed by a lowloader containing the cash machine.

“The pick up truck was escaping with the cash machine chained on it but half hanging off,” Mr McBurney said. “There were yellow sparks on the road from the chains, it was like it was out of a movie!”

The truck escaped, followed by the police and Mr McBurney then went out.

“It was scary and exciting at the same time,” he said.

“I never want to be barricarded in my own house again.”

Mr McBurney, 42, who is a director of Birds Eye Studios, said there was debris scattered across the road from the raid.

The frontage of the building, the former site of Barclays Bank, had been badly damaged in the raid.

The raids follow two similar raids in Biggleswade and Gamlingay in October last year.

Police are appealing for witnesses and information about the ATM raid.

A police spokesman said officers were called at around 1.30am to the incident in Regents Street. Police attended the scene and the offenders fled in a blue Audi which was later recovered.

The cash machine was ripped from the wall and a metal box from inside was stolen.

A silver and green Mitsubishi L200 pick-up truck, believed stolen, was used in the raid.

PC Ben Jones, investigating, said: “I would appeal for anyone who may have noticed any suspicious activity in this area to come forward with information. I am equally keen to speak to anyone who recognises the vehicles described.

“Incidents like this are two-fold, usually involving thefts of agricultural or plant machinery in order to carry out the ram-raid, so I would encourage rural sites to remain vigilant to suspicious activity and report any information or thefts to police at the earliest opportunity.

“Keeping vehicles and equipment as secure as possible is also key in helping prevent damaging criminal behaviour of this kind.”

An investigation is ongoing and anyone with any information should call police on 101.

Photos courtesy of Birds Eye Studios