Trio Jailed After Being Caught Breaking Into Mansfield Bank By Cop Drone
Three people have been jailed for breaking into a Nottinghamshire bank via the roof after being caught by a police drone.
The trio broke into a Santander bank branch on Stockwell Gate in the town of Mansfield at about 1.10am on 14th August.
The police were alerted after the alarm system was tripped when two suspects entered the bank.
Officers arrived on the scene and the three suspects tried to hide on the roof, but were quickly caught thanks to the thermal imaging on the police drone that pinpointed their exact location.
The Nottinghamshire Police said in a statement: “Officers were alerted after the bank alarm system was tripped as two people entered the premises through the roof at around 1.10am on 14 August 2021.
“However, after being rumbled by the alarm, the trio then attempted to hide from officers who had quickly attended the scene.
“But thanks to the force’s drone team and the use of a thermal camera, officers on the ground were guided to their exact location and caught them all red-handed hiding on top of the roof.”
The police said that two suspects dropped through the ceiling tiles and into the bank’s staffroom, adding: “A bag containing a crowbar and some gloves were also seized at the scene.”
The three defendants appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on 3rd November, having pleaded “guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal”.
The statement said: “Paul Bates, 40, was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months.
“He was ordered to complete 120 hours of unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation requirement days, and also abide by an alcohol abstinence monitoring requirement for 120 days.
“Co-accused Leah Smithurst, 31, of Clumber Street, Warsop, was sentenced to a 12-month community order.
“This included an electronic tag and a six-month curfew between 8pm and 6am and she was also ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation requirement days.
“Aaron Thompson, 25, of Treswell Court, Mansfield, was sentenced to a 12-month community order, 120 hours of unpaid work and 30 rehabilitation requirement days.”
Nottinghamshire Police spokesperson Lauren Morgan said: “Officers did a fantastic job to arrive at the bank so quickly and detain these three individuals while they were still hiding on top of the roof.
“With help from the force’s drone team and also Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service we were able to work together and in this instance, were able to catch them all red-handed and bring them up in front of the courts to answer for their actions.
“The officers’ quick actions may have prevented items from being stolen from within the bank.”