Cash machine thieves jailed
Four men have been jailed for a spate of cash machine burglaries, The Guardian reports.
The gang from Merseyside were caught by police using extensive surveillance, following five robberies across the country in 2011.
David Owens, Kevin Caveney and Shaun Ennis were charged with conspiracy to burgle. They received between six and seven years in prison each. A fourth member, Robin Vaughn, was jailed for 18 months for assisting the gang.
The men apparently disabled alarm systems at caravan sites, amusement parks, service stations and colleges in order to break open the cash machines; stealing the money held within.
They stole a machine from Worcestershire College; bundling it in the back of a van before speeding off. They went on to force open machines at a Redcar service station, a North Yorkshire restaurant and a Cornwall holiday park. It is believed the gang are responsible for eight burglaries, amounting to "a substantial amount of cash".
Each of the machines targeted were free-standing, rather than hole-in-the-wall machines.
According to BBC News, when searching the homes of Owen, Ennis and Caveney, the police found £3,500 in cash, money bags, tools and papers relating to a car that was used in one of the crimes.
Senior police chiefs praised the work of the North West Regional Crime Unit in solving the "persistent, widespread and highly organised criminality.
"Today's convictions reflect the persistence of our officers to see that justice is served on offenders who travels the country carrying out crimes," said Detective Inspector Michael Fraser.