Pair jailed for playing part in series of ram raids across eastern region

Tony Smith, 19, from Willingham, Cambridgeshire, and Charlie Oakley, 26, of Shefford, Bedfordshire,

Tony Smith, 19, from Willingham, Cambridgeshire, and Charlie Oakley, 26, of Shefford, Bedfordshire, have been jailed for their involvement in a spate of ram raids Picture: BEDFORDSHIRE POLICE - Credit: Archant

Two men have been jailed after pleading guilty to playing a part in a series of ram raids across seven counties - including raids in Newmarket and Thetford.

Tony Smith, 19 of Schole Road, Willingham, Cambridgeshire, and Charlie Oakley, 26, of George Street, Shefford, Bedfordshire, were sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Wednesday, November 7.

Oakley was handed a six year prison sentence while Smith was handed a five year sentence in a youth offenders institution after both pleading guilty to conspiracy to burgle in relation to a number of ram raids across the region.

As part of the crime spree throughout March and April 2018, they also stole Land Rovers and Audis which were used to ram into the stores and to act as get-away cars.

In total there were eight ram raids across seven different counties, and a total of 24 offences.

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The raids caused more than £250,000 of damage in total to the businesses that were targeted.

None of the money has been recovered.

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Their offences included a raid at The Guineas Shopping Centre in Newmarket on Monday, April 2, where an Audi and a stolen Land Rover were used to steal an cash machine containing thousands of pounds.

The pair also admitted being involved in a raid of the One Stop in Feltwell near Thetford on Monday, April 16, where a disc cutter was used to gain entry to the shop before thousands of pounds were stolen from a cash machine.

Detective Inspector Trevor Davidson, who led the investigation, said: “This ruthless cross-border crime blitz saw hundreds of thousands of pounds being stolen, not to mention the significant amount of damage caused to the businesses affected, and the multiple vehicles stolen from innocent people across the region.

“This was an incredibly complex investigation due to the large number and geographical span of the offences, but thanks to the hard work and dedication of our officers, and the close working with forces in seven different counties, we have been able to bring these criminals to justice.

A 17-year-old from Market Harborough has also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to burgle charge in relation to the same series of ram raids and will be sentenced later on this month.

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