Cash machine raid at Whiteley Shopping Centre thwarted as armed police launch drone to catch thieves

Share this article

THIEVES trying to break into a cash machine have been stopped after eagle-eyed security staff alerted police – who launched a drone to track a getaway car.

Armed police arrested a 29-year-old man on suspicion of attempted theft after the raid at the Tesco store at Whiteley Shopping Centre.

Two men were spotted by the cash machine at 1.48am on Monday.

One of the men was stopped shortly afterwards when officers launched a drone to track the pair and a getaway car.

READ MORE: Hampshire police set to use drones at football matches and search for missing people

Hampshire’s armed police unit, shared with Thames Valley, tweeted: ‘Shopping centre security spot offenders breaking into an ATM last night in Whiteley.

Drones are being used by Hampshire police to hunt for missing people,  respond to major incidents, capture aerial crime scene imagery, at road traffic collisions, and at large public events. Picture: Hampshire police/TVP

Drones are being used by Hampshire police to hunt for missing people, respond to major incidents, capture aerial crime scene imagery, at road traffic collisions, and at large public events. Picture: Hampshire police/TVP

‘Good use of the new drone and local units means we catch one and his vehicle not too far away. #YouCanRunButYouCantHide.’

The man remains in custody.

A Hampshire police spokesman said: ‘Nothing was reported stolen from the machine.

READ MORE: Car smashes through Emsworth shop window as drivers neglect to use turning circle

‘Enquiries are ongoing.

‘Anyone with information should call police on 101, quoting the crime reference number 44190394953.’

As reported, Hampshire police spent £160,000 training 34 operators and buying seven drones with Thames Valley Police in a pilot scheme.

It came after the National Police Air Service was criticised in 2017 for being ineffective and inefficient, with officers waiting for delayed air support.