A GANG which made more than £1million and caused £200,000 by smashing their way into cash machines and stealing the contents have received jail terms totalling more than 30 years.
The cash machines in Bromsgrove, Drotiwich, Malvern, Ludlow, Tenbury Wells and Whitchurch were targeted between June 2017 and September 2018.
The raiders first stole cutting equipment from Albrighton and Newport Fire Stations before using it to force entry to stores.
In one incident in Malvern the gang attacked a member of the public who witnessed them attacking a store and a police officer had his vehicle rammed as he pursued the men.
Their spree included raids in ten police force areas, including West Mercia, Staffordshire, Avon and Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Thames Valley, Gloucestershire and Derbyshire.
The gang were sentenced at Shrewsbury Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to conspiracy to burgle and converting criminal property.
Michael Solomon Stubbs, 32, of Asheridge Close, Wednesfield, was jailed for six years, eight months Noel Anthony Reilly, 39, of Wychall Lane, Kings Norton, Birmingham, was put behind bars for seven years and six months and Marcus Burton, 33 of May Farm Close, Hollywood, was imprisoned for five years ten months.
Martin Steadman, 24 of Luce Road, Low Hill, Wolverhampton received a seven-year, six-month sentence and Mohammed Maneer Khan, 31 of Great Hampton Street, Whitmore Reans, Wolverhampton, was sentenced to four years and ten months after also pleading guilty to possession of criminal property.
Serious Crime Prevention orders were also granted against Steadman, Stubbs, Reilly and Burton, placing restrictions on them when they are released from prison to protect the public.
The investigation to bring them to justice was led by West Mercia Police’s Serious and Organised Crime Unit.
The senior investigating officer Det Ch Insp Gavin Kinrade said “The offenders were part of an organised crime group responsible for a string of ATM attacks across the UK which netted them a considerable amount of cash.
The gang were motivated by greed and gave no consideration to the damage and destruction they left behind.
“These crimes had a huge impact on the local community with many of the cash machines the group targeted the only source of withdrawing cash for people in the area, some of which haven’t been replaced. Not only that the group were prepared to use violence to commit the offences and stole vital specialist life-saving equipment from fire stations with total disregard to the public.
“This was a complex and challenging investigation and I would like to congratulate my team for bringing the matter to a successful conclusion.
“I would also like to thank colleagues at the other police forces who supported our investigation and assisted in collating evidence.”
HHJ Lowe praised the Serious and Organised Crime Unit for the incredible work in bringing the offenders to justice.
West Mercia Police is currently running Operation Protect campaign in partnership with other agencies to tackle serious and organised crime.
Visit westmercia.police.uk/protect for more information.