A FORMER Trago Mills worker and a mechanic have denied trying to rob a security guard of more than £1,600 in a bungled raid.

Matthew Jagla and his friend Samuel Boon told a jury at Exeter Crown Court that they had nothing to do with the attack, which was thwarted by a quick-witted security guard.

The said their DNA must have got onto a makeshift balaclava mask and two sets of latex gloves which were found in the abandoned getaway car because they had previously worked on the vehicle.

The men said a spate of phone traffic between them in the 36 hours before the failed robbery was a discussion about bargains available on Gumtree and eBay.

Jagla, aged 29, of The Strand, Dawlish, and Boon, aged 28, of Coombe Lane, Torquay, both deny attempted robbery.

The prosecution allege they were two of three masked men who drove a silver Mondeo car onto the pavement at the Stover site at exactly the moment when a guard was transferring £1,644 takings from the Build Centre DIY store to the main shop.

CCTV from night of December 17, 2018 showed the car pulling up as security man Matthew Fleet pulled the cash across a car park in a wheeled shopping trolley and two men getting out, carrying what looked like weapons.

Mr Fleet realised what they were planning before they even opened the door and fled back to the safety of the Build Centre, leaving the men to clamber back in the car as it drove off.

It was later found abandoned close to Jagla’s former home at Heathfield. DNA from both men was found on two sets of latex gloves and DNA from Boon’s saliva was found on a Snap-On tools hat that had been turned into a balaclava by cutting out holes for the eyes.

Boon told the jury that he had worked on the Mondeo about two months before at the workshop where he is employed in Torquay and must have left a glove it.

He said he may have touched the hat on the back seat while ‘rustling around in the car’.

He said he was allowed to do some private work on customers’ cars after hours and that Jagla helped him on some occasions.

He denied having any involvement in or knowledge of the attempted robbery.

He said: ‘I had worked on the car and knew the car, but I had nothing to do with any robbery.’

Jagla said he worked at Trago Mills at the time and had been a friend of Boon since schooldays. They often met up for a drink or to play snooker.

He said he was not working on December 17, 2018, because of a chronic kidney condition and went to pick up his girlfriend from work in Paignton but had not met Boon or returned with him to Trago Mills.

He said his DNA must have got on the glove when he had helped Boon work on the car a few weeks earlier.

Asked if he took part in the raid, he said: ‘No. I didn’t play any part at all in it. I was not in that car and I wasn’t out of it. I guess I would have been at home. I wasn’t in a silver Mondeo.’

The trial continues