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Exeter police release CCTV footage of dramatic chase through Haldon forest

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 14, 2014

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DRAMATIC CCTV footage of a chase through Haldon forest that led to the arrest of a man for ram-raiding post offices in Devon has been released by the police.

The scenes, filmed from on-board the police helicopter with full audio, show the offender's vehicle turning into the forest and eventually flipping over. He then continues to try and evade justice for a while on foot and shake off the pursuing officers.

Watch the video in full at the bottom of this page.

However, guided by the helicopter, dog handlers on the ground catch up with the men and they are arrested.

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The eight minute footage was released after one of the men in the video, Dylan Taylor, was jailed for four and a half years by a judge at Exeter Crown Court.

A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said: "Dylan Taylor, 29, from New North Road, Exeter, was sentenced at Exeter Crown Court on 7 January 2014 to four-and-a-half years’ in prison after pleading guilty to a series of other serious offences including burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.

"Taylor was not convicted of any offences directly in relation to this incident (the police chase) as he

had already pleaded guilty to more serious offences and the Crown Prosecution Service made the decision to keep this case on file."

The court heard how Taylor had a carefully crafted plan for his ram raid on a post office in Totnes but it started going wrong as soon as he arrived outside the building in the early hours of Christmas Day in 2012.

His gang used a stolen Land Rover to demolish the window of the shop in Christina Parade and planned to drag the cashpoint machine out using a cable.

They fled empty handed because the cable was not long enough to go round the bulky ATM machine and things went from bad to worse when he crashed the stolen Subaru getaway car just miles away at Red Post on the road to Newton Abbot.

He left gang member Karis Hall seriously injured in the wreck and fled before police arrived before taking a van from a nearby farm to drive home to Torbay. Hall was not involved in the chase in Haldon Forest that the police have released footage of.

Taylor was caught because of a series of mistakes before and after the raid. He took a Land Rover Discovery from Stennalees, St Austell, but dumped the contents of its boot on the outskirts of Totnes.

He swigged a can of Strongbow cider at the same time and police were able to trace him from the DNA in his saliva on the can which he discarded at the scene.

As he fled the crashed Subaru after the raid he dropped a blood-soaked glove which also carried his DNA, Exeter Crown Court was told.

Taylor, aged 29, originally from Cheltenham but living at New Street, Brixham at the time, admitted burglary, two offences of aggravated vehicle taking and one of taking a van without consent.

He was jailed for a total of four and a half years by Judge Francis Gilbert, QC and banned from driving for three years.

Fellow raider Karis Hall, aged 26, of Headlam Close, Tuffley, Gloucestershire, was jailed for four years after being found guilty of burglary in October.

The Judge told Taylor: ”This series of offences arose from a ram raid. You took a Land Rover to provide the vehicle which you rammed backwards repeatedly into the post office.

“Your plan was to place a cable attached to the Land Rover around the free standing ATM machine and pull it out of the premises so you could steal the cash.

“Unfortunately for you, the cable was not long enough so you fled in the Subaru which had been stolen to be used as a getaway vehicle.

“There was a crash a few miles away in which Hall was injured. You left the scene and took a van to get back home.

“There was a considerable amount of forensic evidence linking you to the offences and you have previous offences including two for ram raids.”

Mr Jonathan Barnes, prosecuting, said the Discovery was taken from Stannary Road, Stennalees, and the Impreza from a lane on the outskirts of Totnes, both within hours of the raid.

He said after the getaway car crashed Taylor took a van from a farm at Higher Blagdon, near Red Post, which was recovered near the house he was staying at in Paignton.

Mr Keith Hadrill, defending, said Taylor has spent most of his adult life in jail but is determined to turn his back on crime and is taking catering courses so he can get a job when he is released.

Taylor was originally linked by police with a series of ram raids and associated offences right across Devon and Cornwall.

He was cleared of involvement in the other ram raids at St Austell, Dawlish, Chagford and Buckfastleigh between June 2011 and Christmas 2012 at earlier hearings, which could not be reported before now.

Some of the cases were dropped through lack of evidence and others were thrown out by Recorder Mr Robert Linford during a trial at Exeter in October.

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  • annasv  |  January 14 2014, 8:53PM

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