Two men have been tried charged with attempted theft of ‘inside work’ at Trago Mills.
Masked men targeted security guards carrying the day’s receipts at the shopping complex near Newton Abbot, Exeter Crown Court heard. But the robbery went wrong after a quick-witted guard called for help.
The gang got back into the getaway car and drove away empty-handed. It is alleged that Samuel Boon, 28, of Barton Road, Torquay, and Matthew Jagla, 29, attempted to steal just over £1,600 on December 17, 2018. Both men deny the offense and have been tried .
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The prosecution says a combination of phone data, CCTV, inside knowledge of security arrangements, DNA and links to the abandoned getaway car suggests Boon and Jagla committed the offence. Prosecutor Mr Tom Bradnock told the jury: ‘This case is about a robbery gone wrong.’
He said two security guards carried the day’s receipts from the construction center to the main building just after 8 p.m. Their route took them outside near the parking lot.
CCTV captured the moment a Ford Mondeo rammed into their path and tried to cut them off. Two passengers wearing masks jumped out of the car. It looked like they were carrying some kind of weapon in their hands.
“As fast as they were, one of the security guards was even faster,” the prosecutor said. “He realized immediately that they intended to rob him and he was able to run in the direction he was coming from and radio the radio for help.”
He said the security guard expected to be chased, but instead “the potential attackers gave up and got back in the car and the car drove off.” Mr Bradnock said it was clear from the footage that the intention was to rob the security guards. But he said CCTV alone could not establish who the thieves were.
“The Crown said it was an inside job,” Mr Bradnock said. “Someone targeted the transfer of this money.”
He said Jagla worked at Trago Mills at the time of the attempted robbery and knew when the proceeds would be transported. The Ford Mondeo was found abandoned the following day in a parking lot in Heathfield. The prosecution cannot say who was driving, but it was a short distance from Jagla’s address at the time.
DNA found on two pairs of gloves in the car can be linked to the defendants, the prosecution says, and to a balaclava in the back seat worn by Boon. Both men later told police they had done work on the car and may have inadvertently transferred their DNA onto the items.
“Putting it all together, you have these two men linked to the car used in the offense and phone data showing levels of contact between them and the location of the phones at the time the offense took place,” said Mr Bradnock. “Collectively, the prosecution says there is evidence that these two men were involved in the attempted robbery.”
The trial continues.
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