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Man and child blow up cash machines then hide in tree trunk

Written by on 27/11/2020

A man and a teenager who blew up a number of cash machines and then hid in a tree trunk to escape the police have been sentenced at court.

Frederick Squires, 38, and a 16-year-old teenager from Doncaster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before York Crown Court on November 26.

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

In March this year, the duo were caught on CCTV blowing up ATMs in Yorkshire and Leicestershire after driving to their targets in a stolen car.

On March 4 at around 12.30am, Squires and the teen pumped gas into a cash machine at the post office in Shepshed and lit a fuse to cause an explosion.

When unsuccessful, they moved on to the Jet garage in Adwick near Doncaster at around 3.15am that same day.

Using the same tactics, they managed to steal £35,130 in cash cassettes.

A few days later, on March 6, the pair unsuccessfully targeted a third ATM at the Co-Op in Starbeck, near Harrogate shortly after 1am.

They then caught the attention of North Yorkshire Police officers on March 10 at around 2am who spotted the stolen car near York.

Trying to escape police, the thieves sped off, reaching more than 100mph at times.

The car then drove the wrong way around a roundabout before travelling along the wrong side of the A64 dual carriageway before crashing into the car park barriers at the McArthur Glen York Designer Outlet.

They then tried to get away on foot and hid from officers in a tree trunk.

A police helicopter spotted a heat source close to the River Ouse, giving away the location of the thieves.

They were all arrested and following a court appearance, Squires of Castleacre Road, Swaffham, Norfolk, pleaded guilty to all charges.

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.

Squires was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison and was disqualified from driving for seven years and three months. The teen received a two year detention and training order.

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.

“The attacks also caused extensive damage to the businesses targeted and meant these vital local services were unavailable for the community whilst being repaired.

“Added to all of this are the highly irresponsible actions of the driver as they fled from the police, endangering the lives of many road users and causing further damage.”

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