Eight police response vehicles were damaged minutes before reports of a cash machine theft in the Cotswolds in the early hours of Saturday (9th November) morning.
Police confirmed that at around 03:30 hours, Gloucestershire Constabulary was informed that thieves had targetted a cash machine at a Eurogarage Services Station in Stow Road, Moreton in Marsh.
The thieves had used a stolen cherry picker and made off with part of the cash machines as well as four cash cassettes.
The stolen cherry picker was recovered a short while later.
When response team officers based in Stow-on-the-Wold tried to respond to the theft, they found that one tyre on each of their eight response vehicles had been slashed.
This meant that none of the eight police cars could be used to respond to the incident.
After trawling CCTV footage, officers identified three people running from the police station around ten minutes before the theft was reported.
By disabling the police vehicles, the callous thieves undoubtedly put the lives of local residents at risk, as officers would not have been able to respond to other 999 calls.
Officers from the Force Response Unit and Crime Operations Team were on patrol in the area and were able to respond immediately respond to the cash machine
All eight police vehicles have now been repaired and have been returned to active duty.
Detective Superintendent Steve Bean said:
“These two incidents do appear to be linked and would indicate that this crime was committed by a professional group.
“We have a team working on a number of cross-border offences at the moment and were on patrol in the area, which meant they could respond very quickly and only just missed the offenders.
“Incidents like this can have a big impact on the local community, and I would like to assure members of the public that we are committed to finding those responsible.
“People should be aware, however, that there are criminals looking to steal high powered cars for use as getaway vehicles and they should not be complacent about their own security measures.
“Fortunately, the damage to the eight cars did not affect our ability to respond to other incidents, and they are all now repaired.”
Anyone who saw any suspicious activity in Stow Road, Moreton or the A429, Stow in the early hours of the morning is asked to call Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101 quoting incidents 36 and 39 of 9th November.
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