A "remorseless" ram-raiding duo who ripped an ATM from a newsagent, threatened supermarket staff with a hammer and burgled homes across Dartford have been jailed.  

Joseph Hoadley, 26, and Grant Searle, 29, reversed a Ford Transit into Northfleet Food and Wine on November 28, 2019, causing damage worth around £11,000.

Hoadley then crawled inside, attaching a cord to the cash machine, allowing it to be pulled free.

Around 40 minutes later, a police patrol located the Transit, which had been abandoned under a railway bridge in Lodge Lane, Cobham, with the ATM still inside.

News Shopper:

Ten days after, the pair robbed shop staff at a Co-op in Talbot Lane, Ebbsfleet.

Searle approached a shop worker, who was stood behind the till, and told him to place his hands in the air.

With Hoadley's help the victim was escorted  to the rear of the shop.

Once inside the stock room, Hoadley threatened a second employee with a hammer before the pair stole a large amount of cash from the shop’s safe.

They then left the scene in a black Mercedes.

Hoadley and Searle were also responsible for burglaring properties in Gravesend, Dartford and Meopham targeted between November 25 and December 4 2019.

Both offenders stole two vehicles during an overnight burglary of a home in Oaklands Road, Dartford, and a large quantity of cash was stolen during a daytime burglary of a home in Vigilant Way, Gravesend.

News Shopper: The cash machine in the back of the stolen vanThe cash machine in the back of the stolen van

They additionally targeted two homes in Wrotham Road, Meopham, stealing a car and an air rifle in the process.

A luxury watch was also stolen from a home in Freeman Road.

Using a variety of evidence, including roadside camera footage, mobile phone checks and a review of CCTV, officers were able to track both men to a hotel in Clipper Boulevard, Dartford, where they were detained on December 13 2019.

Inside the hotel room, officers located various items of clothing that had been worn during the Co-op robbery.

Both men have been held on remand since their arrest.

Hoadley and Searle, both of no fixed address, admitted conspiring to burgle a business, conspiring to burgle homes and robbery.

Hoadley was sentenced to 10 and a half years, while Searle received 11 and a half

In addition to these matters, he was sentenced for five offences which were committed outside of Kent and dealt with by a different police force.

These consisted of two counts of fraud, handling stolen goods, possessing ammunition when prohibited from doing so and possessing articles for use in fraud.

Chief Inspector Junior Dann, Kent Police’s District Commander for Gravesham and Dartford, said: "These two men are prolific thieves who caused exceptional amounts of harm to the victims they targeted.

"Their offending was remorseless, exceptionally callous and demonstrated an alarming willingness to use violence if they did not get what they wanted.

"They have proven themselves to be a considerable danger to the public and I have no doubt they would have continued to offend if they were not apprehended when they were.

"I am pleased that we have secured justice for each of the victims.

"Their detention and subsequent imprisonment is a testament to the first-class expertise of numerous policing teams, not least our Serious Organised Crime Unit, the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, our North Kent Criminal Investigation Department and the Gravesham Local Policing Team.

"These teams have achieved an outstanding result that has doubtlessly made north Kent safer."