Robbers who raided Cheshire Co-op with truck jailed

A PAIR of robbers who ram raided a convenience store in Cheshire with a pickup truck have been jailed. Christopher Jones and Thomas Eden targeted the Co-op on Orford Lane, Orford shortly after 9pm on Monday, June 15, in a ‘planned, professional robbery’. Shocking video footage shared on social media and played in court showed a black pickup truck with a rope attached breaking into the cash machine in the shop’s entrance.

Chester and District Standard: Two men were pictured entering the store, one wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up and the other in a black top being masked – with a third offender behind the wheel of the vehicle. They were then seen driving away along Forshaw Street, having stolen what was described as a ‘little box’.

A black Seat Leon which is thought to be linked to the incident was later found abandoned in Widnes. Jones and Eden, aged 31 and 26 respectively, admitted robbery at Liverpool Crown Court last month in connection with the incident. The former also pleaded guilty to escaping from lawful custody.

Both defendants, from Liverpool, appeared back before the same court in order to be sentenced this afternoon, Wednesday. And Jones was jailed for five years and eight months, with Eden handed 44 months behind bars. Detective sergeant Tom Hall said: “Eden and Jones terrified two members of staff as they brazenly robbed the store in full view of the public, who were filming them in action.

“They had planned their attack by swapping vehicles after fleeing from the scene and then attempted to evade police by running through people’s gardens and hiding in bushes. “I want to thank the public who came forward to provide information, the hard work of the officers who captured the suspects and the detectives investigating the case. “It certainly played a part in the men admitting to their crimes and ensuring they were put behind bars.”

The court heard that Jones fled from HMP Thorn Cross on Christmas Eve last year, a day after being transferred from HMP Risley. Chester and District Standard: At the time, he was serving a 19 year sentence for a similar string of robberies across the north west – including one in which he was the passenger in a car which ran over a police officers.

This gang, which set up a headquarters at a flat on Poppyfields in Sankey Bridges, stole a haul worth ?750,000. The latest offence saw the defendant drive in convoy from Liverpool to Warrington in two stolen vehicles with fake number plates. As shop staff were locking up, the defendants drove up to the premises in a Nissan Navara.

Jones, brandishing a crowbar and with a mask covering his face, ordered one employee to ‘get out of the way’. The dad began to attack the cash machine with a crowbar, before attempting to break into the ATM with a sledgehammer he had been handed by a third offender – who has not yet been identified. He then attached a rope to the tow bar of the truck and the cash machine, but only managed to steal a tray containing a small number of rejected bank notes and none of the remaining ?26,230.

Eden meanwhile acted as the getaway driver, with the Nissan switched for a Seat Ibiza which was parked up ready for the escape on nearby Dudley Street. Chester and District Standard: The latter vehicle was later found ditched in Widnes with a different set of number plates, but with the crowbar and an angle grinder inside.

Both Jones and Eden were arrested nearby after being spotted hiding in the garden of a house by the police helicopter.

Cheshire police and crime commissioner David Keane added: “These two men shocked the local community as they attacked the cash machine in broad daylight in front of passers-by.

“I welcome the sentences handed to them, and I hope it sends a clear message to other offenders who look to come to Cheshire to commit crime – I also would like to praise those members of the community who provided information to the police and to the officers who worked hard to ensure the criminals were brought to justice.”

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