Man admits role in Debenham Co-op ram raid
A man has admitted his role in a JCB ram raid on a Suffolk Co-op which saw a cash machine ripped from the wall of the store and a defibrillator destroyed.
Jesse Gatehouse, 30, of Defoe Crescent, Colchester, appeared before magistrates in Ipswich yesterday via video link and pleaded guilty to burglary of the Debenham Co-op.
Police were called around 3.30am on Tuesday following reports that a stolen JCB Teleporter had been used to smash the front of the village store in Chancery Lane.
Two more stolen vehicles - a white Ford Transit van, which had its roof cut off, and a red Audi S4 - were also used in the raid, with the ATM placed in the Transit van after it had been dragged from the store.
The whole incident was captured on CCTV, the court heard.
The Audi fled the scene but the ATM had a tracker fitted and was traced to a disused barn in Syleham, around 13 miles away, where the door had been forced.
MORE: Ram raid will have 'dramatic impact' on villagers, say locals
As officers made their way to the scene, around 4.20am, they encountered a red Audi driving towards them on Syleham Road.
Magistrates heard that as the car tried to avoid police by performing a u-turn in the narrow road, it ended up half in a ditch.
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Two men got out of the Audi and despite a large-scale search, involving the police dog unit, they currently remain at large.
Gatehouse was sat in the back of the Audi and was arrested by police at the scene.
He offered no comment in police interview.
The ATM and its contents were recovered still inside the van at the barn, the court heard.
Gatehouse was committed to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing at a date to be fixed.
No bail application was made and he was remanded in custody.
The JCB was discovered to have been stolen from a farm in Debenham and the Ford Transit was stolen from an address in Bures St Mary.
The red Audi had been reported as stolen from an address in Danbury near Chelmsford, between October 29 and October 30.
Detectives said yesterday they are exploring whether the Debenham incident is linked to a similar ram raid on the Spar store in Glemsford on November 4.
In that incident, a Land Rover Defender was reversed into the store, causing extensive damage although nothing was stolen.