Published: May 16, 2009
Ram-radiers jailed after attacks on two Burnham-On-Sea shops

Ram-raiders who stole a BMW car from Bristol and then used it to carry out smash and grab raids on two shops in Burnham-On-Sea were each jailed for three years on Friday (May 15th).

Southmead men Richard Hebdidge and Lee Tucker were with an unknown accomplice when they used the vehicle to batter their way into Superdrug and Boots last December and make off with perfumes and hair straighteners.

Products worth £2,055 were stolen from Boots, with an estimated £20,000 damage being caused to the premises, as pictured above, while similar products totalling £8,111 were stolen from Superdrug, with an estimated £2,820 of damage caused.

Bristol Crown Court heard this week how the pair had returned to Bristol after the raid and tried to out-run waiting police at speeds of up to 90mph before they were stopped and arrested.

Hebdidge, 24, of Wilton Close, and Tucker, 30, of Ringwood Crescent, both pleaded guilty to burgling the shops as well as aggravated vehicle taking by being passengers in the car.

Imposing the jail terms, Judge Mark Horton told the men: "You took a high risk, high violence expedition to Burnham."

"People who witness these type of incidents are terrified by the violence that takes place. They are not simply burglaries of commercial premises; they are violent burglaries of commercial premises where the cost to those who run the premises would have been extremely high."

Both men were also banned from driving for two years and told to pass an enhanced driving test before being able to return to the road.

The court heard that at around 1.15am on December 19th, police were alerted to a BMW being used to ram-raid the shops in Burnham High Street. Bristol police positioned themselves on the A370 before spotting the BMW at 1.40am.

The car failed to stop for police and sped off through red traffic lights towards Clifton Hill, accelerating at speeds of up to 90mph in a 30mph zone.

The police's helicopter was used to follow the car, and while Hebdidge and Tucker were arrested, a third person got away.

Mr Shepherd said Hebdidge had a plethora of previous motoring offences, including dangerous driving, driving while disqualified and taking a vehicle without consent, as well as burglary.

Our photos show the two damaged shops on Burnham High Street after last December's ram raid attacks

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