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Just seconds to grab £200,000

ABOUT 120 seconds that's all it took for a ram-raid gang to smash a JCB through the front of a Medway bank and escape with about £200,000.

Frightened residents living above a parade of shops in Walderslade feared their homes would come crashing down as the JCB demolished the HSBC bank below them and ripped out two cash machines.

They were jolted from their sleep by a "mighty crash" shortly after 3.30am on Saturday.

The exact amount stolen is not known, but a police spokesman said it was unlikely to be less than £200,000. Residents said the raid took no more than two minutes.

"At one point I thought the flats were coming down," said a woman living in a flat above the bank.

"At first there was a sound like a bottle bank being emptied and then there was a deafening crash. I looked outside and saw a JCB digger, a flatbed truck with a guy on the back of it, and what looked like a four-by-four vehicle.

"I called the police and they were there almost immediately. But no burglar alarm sounded in the bank."

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