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Where have there been cash machine thefts in Kent in 2019? Everything you need to know

By Lynn Cox

A huge amount of damage has been caused to a building society overnight after ram-raiders targeted a branch of Kent Reliance - the ninth cash machine raid in Kent since the start of the year.

There has been an alarming increase in the number of ATM thefts in the county in recent years.

Police statistics show there were nine incidents in 2017/18, and another nine in 2015/16.

There has already been that many since the turn of the year. Here is what has happened:

Lenham, Wednesday, January 9

The Co-op targeted on January 9
The Co-op targeted on January 9

A village convenience store had its cash machine stolen in a daring raid.

Police were called to the Co-op in Faversham Road, Lenham, near Maidstone at 2am after it was reported a Mitsubishi Shogun had been used to steal a cash machine from inside the premises.

The car is understood to have rammed the front of the shop and pulled out the machine using strapping, before dragging it along the road and over the A20 towards Doddington, where it was left after a quantity of cash had been removed.

The raiders also set fire to the Shogun which was later found on fire in Flint Lane and detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate launched an investigation.

Detling Hill, Friday, January 25

The Shell garage was targeted on Detling Hill in January
The Shell garage was targeted on Detling Hill in January

A gang targeted a petrol station on Detling Hill.

Thieves used a blow torch to try and steal a cash machine from The Shell garage off the Maidstone-bound carriageway of the A249 at about 3.30am.

Detling Hill was cordoned off following the incident and witnesses reported seeing two men trying to take the machine.

Then just a few weeks later on

Kennington, Ashford, Thursday, February 7

Footage of the aftermath of the raid

Police started an investigation after two men in a black car after a cash machine was ripped out of a wall in an overnight raid at another Co-op.

Officers have taped off the car park at the Faversham Road store in Kennington, Ashford, following the raid which happened at about 4am.

The raid happened on February 7
The raid happened on February 7

Thieves also targeted another shop in the county two weeks later.

High Halden, Ashford, Thursday, February 21

The One Stop shop was targeted in February
The One Stop shop was targeted in February

Thieves reversed a 4x4 into the front of a village shop during a cash machine raid in the early hours of the morning.

Police were called at 4am to the One Stop in High Halden, Ashford after residents heard a loud bang.

Officers say a Cherokee Jeep reversed into the front of the shop and then strapping was used in an attempt to pull out the cash machine.

The 4x4 then left the scene along Church Hill and was later found on fire in Harbourne Lane.

Hopeville Avenue, Broadstairs, Sunday, February 24

This Co-op was targeted at the end of February
This Co-op was targeted at the end of February

Then just days later a digger was used was used to rip out a cash machine at the Co-op in Hopeville Avenue, Broadstairs.

The thieves drove the digger into the store which caused significant damage to the front of the store.

The cash machine was later found with the digger along a farm track off Hopeville Avenue.

The incident happened at about 4.50am and at the time witnesses reported seeing two men leaving the scene.

Offens Drive, Staplehurst, Tuesday, March 12

A convenience store was badly damaged and a burnt out car discovered following a suspected ram-raid.

The SPAR shop in Offens Drive, Staplehurst, sustained huge amounts of damage after it was targeted during the incident.

The suspects are believed to have used a vehicle to smash through the store at around 1am but made off empty handed.

However, just days later a police dog helped officers arrest a man in connection with the ram-raid, but he was later released.

No one has been charged with the offence yet.

Longfield Road, Tunbridge Wells, Thursday, April 4

Watch police at the scene after the raid

A cash machine was stolen from the Asda in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Will Vernon
A cash machine was stolen from the Asda in Tunbridge Wells. Picture: Will Vernon

Thieves used a digger to steal a cash machine from an Asda supermarket, which heavily damaging the building.

A police cordon was put in place around the store in Longfield Road in Tunbridge Wells after officers were called to the scene at 3.34am.

Police are linking the ram-raid with another burglary overnight at the recycling centre also on Longfield Road.

Silverdale Road, Tunbridge Wells, Thursday, May 9

This shop was targeted in May
This shop was targeted in May

An investigation was launched after thieves tried to steal a cash machine from a shop in a ram-raid.

Police were called at around 2.20am after a silver 4x4 reversed into the front of a shop in Silverdale Road, Tunbridge Wells.

It is understood the vehicle, which had a red stripe on the sides, used a chain in attempt to drag the cash machine from inside the premises.

Hempstead Valley, Monday, May 20

The scene of the ram-raid at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre Picture: @Media999E
The scene of the ram-raid at Hempstead Valley Shopping Centre Picture: @Media999E

The early morning raid happened at a branch in Hempstead Valley and caused substantial structural damage to the building and and other outlets nearby including TK Maxx.

It seems the raiders used a digger to smash into the front of the branch and removed two cash machines.

The digger which was used during the raid was later found in a field off Hempstead Valley Drive, Gillingham.

One cash machine was left at the scene and another is still missing.

An investigation is underway by police after the incident which happened at about 3.15am.

The branch is set to be closed for several weeks as a result of the raid and no one has been arrested in relation to the incident.

No one has been arrested in latest ram-raid at Hempstead Valley but DI James Derham said: "There are numerous lines of inquiry we are actively pursuing however we are keen to hear from anyone who has information that can assist us.

"The digger attended the scene alongside a flatbed van, which we are yet to locate and was loaded with the stolen ATM.

"Its plates had been removed and anyone who saw a vehicle in the area fitting this description is asked to get in contact with us."

Police can be contacted by calling 01634 792209 quoting 20-0101. Alternatively, people can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111

Police urge people to report any suspicious activity or if they have any information in relation to any recent thefts to contact Kent Police via 101.

For the latest crime news in the county, join the Kent Crime group on Facebook.

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