North Devon and Cornwall ram raid crime spree burglar jailed

A crime gang member from Liverpool who took part in a rampaging crime spree from Barnstaple to North Cornwall has been jailed. 

Anthony Cahill, 35, was part of a gang of four who stole crane slings from Barnstaple, a pick up truck from Holsworthy and then made a smash and grab on the Co-op at Kilkhampton in a bungled attempt to steal its cashpoint machine. 

Cahill, of Kirby in Liverpool, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary and was today (Thursday, January 14) sentenced to four years in prison by a judge at Truro Crown Court. 
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His three accomplices remain at large and detectives are appealing for information that could help bring them to justice. 

Anthony Cahill was sentenced to four years for his part in the crime spree. His accomplices are still at large

Anthony Cahill was sentenced to four years for his part in the crime spree.

His accomplices are still at large – Credit: DCP

The crime spree took place when the quartet travelled from Liverpool to Devon to embark on the well-planned burglary spree in the early hours of June 28, 2019. 

They first broke into a crane hire company’s compound at Roundswell  and took several heavy-duty slings. 

They made their way to a car dealership on the outskirts of Holsworthy, gained entry to its garage and took the keys to a Ford Ranger pick-up and a VW Golf. 

After stealing the vehicles, they returned on foot with power tools and tried in vain to crack the safe.  

Police were alerted to the noise at around 2.50am but the offenders evaded officers and headed to Kilkhampton. 

The gang steal what they can after breaking into the Co-op at Kilkhampton

The gang steal what they can after breaking into the Co-op at Kilkhampton – Credit: DCP

They drove the pick-up truck the front doors of the village Co-Op before tying the stolen slings to the cashpoint and the Ford Ranger’s rear bumper. 

However, their efforts to drive the 4×4 off and dislodge the bolted-down ATM failed when one of the slings snapped. 

The gang then tried to raid the store’s tills and cigarette counter before fleeing with a limited haul. 

The stolen pick up truck outside the Kilkhampton Co-op

The stolen pick up truck outside the Kilkhampton Co-op – Credit: DCP

Detectives quickly linked all three burglaries and, through CCTV, forensics and the recovery of items, were able to identify potential suspects. 

Cahill was located and arrested in Liverpool and initially denied all knowledge of the crimes when interviewed. 

Three other suspects were arrested in connection with the burglaries but were released without charge.   

Detective Constable Andrew Colley said: “This was clearly a well-organised and maliciously-planned crime. 

“The culprits researched the locations and the layout of each, identifying what they needed in order to remove the ATM from Kilkhampton, and took various precautions to avoid detection and identification. 

Hunting for items to steal inside the Kilkhampton Co-op

A member of the gang pictured on CCTV inside the Kilkhampton Co-op – Credit: DCP

“The group caused significant losses and disruption to a local business. 

“I would like to take this opportunity to reach out to anyone who may hold vital information in bring the remaining three suspects to justice. 

“Please email 101@dc.police.uk quoting CR/057432/19 or you can also give information anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

“Devon and Cornwall Police will always deal robustly with those who mistakenly believe that our area is an easy target for such offending.”