Dylan Taylor was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in jail on Friday, after smashing into the Co-op at the Newton Abbot shopping complex and trying to steal an ATM machine.
He caused £100,000 of damage and the store lost £40,000 in revenue while it was shut for repairs. It was Taylor’s fourth ram raid. It is thought he could have fled to Thailand or Vietnam
But Taylor, 33, failed to show up to hear his fate at Exeter Crown Court and was sentenced in his absence.
It was said he had told friends he needed time to ‘sort himself out’. The prosecutor said he may have fled to Thailand or Vietnam
Recorder Hannah Willcocks described the raid on December 10 last year as a ‘highly planned, premeditated and professionally executed burglary’.
Taylor, of Lichfield Avenue, Torquay, was part of a gang which used a Mitsubishi Shogun to smash through the front door of the shop in the early hours of the morning.
Taylor had bought the car the previous day for £895.
Once inside the store Taylor and the gang attached a rope to the free standing machine and tried to pull it from its base. They failed and left empty handed. Blood and DNA on the machine matched Taylor’s.
The full extent of the damage is revealed in these images taken at the time.
Taylor denied burglary and stood trial. He claimed he was asleep at his mum’s house in Torquay and the blood was from a previous visit to the shop when he reached in to get cash. The jury found him guilty.
No other members of the gang have been traced.
It was the fourth ram raid of Taylor’s criminal career.
He committed an almost identical raid at a Post Office on Christmas Day 2014, and committed the Trago offence just a month after being released on licence.
Mr Charles Cochand, defending, said Taylor had been ‘failed by the system’.
He said he had spent many years in prison and as a result found it difficult to get a job.
He said post-custody care for ‘vulnerable’ offenders like him did not meet their needs.
He said there was a danger Taylor could become ‘institutionalised’ at a time when he had become a father for the first time.
He also pointed out that nobody had been hurt in the raid.
Mr Cochand said Taylor maintained his innocence and there was still some doubt about whether he had bought the Shogun. The barrister said he had tried to contact Taylor this week but his phone was off.
The defendant had left a note saying he knew he would be sentenced in his absence and ‘just needs a few days to sort himself out then he will give himself up’.
Prosecutor Mr James Taghdissian said Taylor had breached his electronic curfew earlier in the week and his number traced to Thailand.
Recorder Willcocks said: “The photos clearly show just how devastating the scene was. The ceiling collapsed. It was effectively destroyed.”
“She added: “This was a professional and repeated ram raid burglary.”
A warrant was issued for Taylor’s arrest.
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