A man has been jailed after a gang rammed a stolen JCB through a Co-Op store.

Alfie Smith was part of the gang that took the telehandler from a construction site before ramming it through a cash machine.

After breaking into the store and attempting to steal the cash machine some of the group sped away in a stolen vehicle but Smith was chased on foot by police and arrested.

The Argus: The front of the Co-op store after the raidThe front of the Co-op store after the raid (Image: Sussex Police)

Dramatic footage shows the group ramming through the front of the Co-op store in The Square, Barnham, and causing significant damage to the front of the shop.

Sussex Police investigating officer Sam Doyle said: “This footage shows the clear intent by Smith and his associates to steal an ATM from a village store, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage in the process.

“They had clearly prepared for this operation in advance, but they hadn’t prepared for police to respond so quickly.

“I’d like to thank the numerous victims, witnesses and companies who provided statements and CCTV, which gave us vital evidence to secure Smith’s conviction.”

Following the attempted ram raid on July 4, Smith, 43, pleaded guilty to trespassing with intent to steal and aggravated taking of a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.

Smith, of Staines Road, Ashford in Middlesex, was sentenced to six years in prison. He was also remanded to serve a further ten years of a sentence from 2019 as the offence was committed while on release from prison.

The Argus: Alfie SmithAlfie Smith (Image: Sussex Police)

Investigating officer Doyle added: “I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the dedicated staff and officers who have been involved from the start of this fast-moving and multi-department investigation.

“I acknowledge the significant impact this incident would have had on residents in this small and quiet village, as well as the businesses that suffered financially.”

A 37-year-old man from Aldershot was also arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit burglary following the incident.

He was bailed until October 5 with the investigation ongoing.