Thief, 43, causes severe train delays after damaging depot while breaking into ATM with stolen crane

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Hapless thief, 43, causes severe train delays after damaging crew depot while trying to break into supermarket ATM with a stolen crane

  • The man, 43, from Ashford, Middlesex, has now been detained after a foot chase
  • On top of ASLEF strike action, disruption is expected to continue into afternoon

A man has been arrested after a crane was used to try to steal a cash machine from a supermarket, causing disruption to nearby train services.

Police were called to a building site in West Sussex at 2.15am on Tuesday after reports that a small crane had been stolen.

Officers then made searches of nearby ATM sites and found a raid in progress at a Co-op store in Barnham.

A 43-year-old man, from Ashford, Middlesex, was arrested after being chased by officers on foot.

The Barnham train crew depot, which is a major personnel and equipment hub for drivers and on-train staff, sits next door to the Co-op. It was structurally damaged during the incident and had to be evacuated for safety reasons, according to Southern Railway. 

Sussex Police found a JCB cherry picker 'attempting to steal an ATM' from a Co-op near Barnham railway station

Sussex Police found a JCB cherry picker ‘attempting to steal an ATM’ from a Co-op near Barnham railway station

A 43-year-old man, from Ashford, Middlesex, was arrested after being chased by officers on foot after fleeing the scene

A 43-year-old man, from Ashford, Middlesex, was arrested after being chased by officers on foot after fleeing the scene

The scene outside a Co-op store in Barnham today

The scene outside a Co-op store in Barnham today

This meant that a large number of train crew were unable to start work this morning which severely affected services throughout the west coast area. 

On top of that, the ASLEF union’s planned strike action throughout this week has also affected services run by Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express.

With trains between Chichester to London Bridge being cancelled, disruption is expected to continue into the afternoon, National Rail said.

Sussex Police said: ‘Police arrested a man in Barnham on Tuesday morning (July 4) after stopping an aggravated burglary in progress at a supermarket.

‘Officers had been called to a building site in Yapton Road at around 2.15am to reports of a small crane having been stolen.

‘Response units were deployed to nearby cash machines and came across a crane attempting to steal an ATM from a supermarket in Barnham Road. 

‘The driver of the crane, a 43-year-old man from Ashford, Middlesex, was detained after a short foot chase and arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and criminal damage. He remains in custody at this time. 

‘A white Volvo XC60 was also seen to leave the scene.

Police were originally called to a building site in Yapton Road, Barnham, West Sussex, at 2.15am today after a report that a small crane (pictured) had been stolen

Police were originally called to a building site in Yapton Road, Barnham, West Sussex, at 2.15am today after a report that a small crane (pictured) had been stolen

A man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and criminal damage

A man was arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and criminal damage

Staff gather outside the train depot today which is a major personnel and equipment hub for drivers and on-train staff

Staff gather outside the train depot today which is a major personnel and equipment hub for drivers and on-train staff

‘Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has any information or footage that could help, is asked to contact police online or via 101, quoting serial 1624 of 03/07.’

A statement on Southern Railway’s website read: ‘Due to the police dealing with an incident near the railway in the Barnham area, fewer trains will run on all Southern routes between Brighton, Littlehampton, Portsmouth, and Southampton Central.

‘Your journey will take up to 60 minutes longer than usual, and you may need to use an alternative route to reach your destination.

‘Southern services which normally split at Horsham and run direct to Bognor Regis have been cancelled.’

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