Dagenham armed robber who stole £235,000 from security van is jailed

Joe Turner Picture: Essex Police

Joe Turner Picture: Essex Police - Credit: Essex Police

A shotgun-wielding robber from Dagenham who stole £235,000 in cash after holding up a security van at a supermarket has been jailed for 15 years.

The scene of the armed robbery at Asda in Witham. Picture: Chris Myers

The scene of the armed robbery at Asda in Witham. Picture: Chris Myers - Credit: Archant

The two guards had stopped at Asda in Highfield, Witham, Essex at around 8.30am on December 14 last year, to refill an ATM.

Two men wearing balaclavas, and armed with a double-barrelled shotgun, robbed the guards – with one forced onto his knees while the other was ordered to remove money from the security van.

The robbers then made off in a BMW 4x4 driven by an accomplice.

Police were called at 9.45am to the car which had been abandoned in Speedwell Close, Witham. It was found to have false number plates, and was identified as having been stolen during a burglary in Tiptree earlier in the year.

It was covered in petrol and a lighter was found at the scene, leading detectives to believe the criminals had attempted to set it alight.

In the boot of the car, officers found a black bin bag containing other number plates.

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DNA and fingerprints found inside this vehicle were linked to Joe Turner.

The 29-year-old, of Vincent Road, was arrested on April 4 and later charged.

He pleaded guilty to robbery and possession of an offensive weapon at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, June 1. Today he was jailed for a total of 15 years.

Detective inspector Ed Mayo, senior investigating officer, said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victims of this offence.

“The incident took place in broad daylight just before Christmas and many members of the public who witnessed this would have also been affected.

“This was a well-planned and sophisticated robbery and those responsible paid no regard to the impact on others.

“The sentence imposed today reflects the severity of offending and that the use of firearms in this county will not be tolerated.”