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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Man arrested after digger used to steal ATMs in ram raid on Tesco in Grove Green, Maidstone

17 December 2013
by Claire McWethy

A Maidstone man has been arrested on suspicion of robbery after a ram raid at a supermarket in Grove Green yesterday.

The 35-year-old was held after a digger was used to rip two cash machines from the wall of a branch of Tesco in an-early morning raid.

A trolley shelter is believed to have been smashed through to get to the cash machines - leaving a trail of broken trolleys, till rolls and broken wood.

ATM ram raiders badly damaged the front of a Tesco branch in Maidstone. Picture Lisa Archer

ATM ram raiders badly damaged the front of a Tesco branch in Maidstone. Picture: Lisa Archer

The JCB digger was abandoned in the car park and a police cordon was put in place at the store, in Grovewood Drive North, after officers were called at 3.50am. 

Parts of the car park were also taped off - around the muddy tracks of the digger, which appear to have come from a building site in neighbouring Penhurst Close.

The arrest was made later the same day and the man has been bailed until February 10 pending further inquiries.

Yesterday morning, officers from the Kent Police Serious Crime Directorate were speaking to nearby residents.

The scene of the ram raid in Maidstone

The scene of the ram raid in Maidstone

Mother Irina Springate's bedroom window overlooks the building site. 

The 40-year-old said: "I've seen the JCB parked opposite my home there all this week. I think they are building houses there.

"I heard a constant banging noise from around 10pm to 1am, but looked out my window and didn't see anything and don't know if it is connected.

"I am annoyed I didn't keep looking outside because you can see Tesco from my window."

Video: Scene of ram raid on Tesco in Grove Green, Maidstone 

Tennis coach Julian Squiers lives 300 metres away from the store in Haywain Close.

He said: "It looks like a professional job and I hope police catch whoever did it. It is like Weavering's answer to the Italian Job.

"On a quiet night I might have heard it happen, but this morning was so windy that that's the only sound you could hear.

"I only found out about it when I came to do my shopping in the morning. I couldn't believe it."

A trail of destruction is left after the ram raiders strike at Tesco

A trail of destruction is left after the ram raiders strike at Tesco

Digger tracks coming from a building site in Penhurst Close

Digger tracks coming from a building site in Penhurst Close

A police cordon is thrown around the site of the ram raid. Picture Alison Buckwell

A police cordon is thrown around the site of the ram raid. Picture: Alison Buckwell

A Tesco spokesman said: "This is now a matter for the police and we will be helping them with their investigation in any way we can."

Anyone with information about the incident, particularly any customers of the supermarket, who have not already spoken to police are urged to come forward.

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