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Gang who ripped ATMs from walls jailed for ‘crippling businesses’

Five men who used diggers to raid cash machines across the south east of England have been jailed for a total of 22 years.

The gang stole vehicles and tools worth more than £30,000 and caused almost £705,000 in damage to businesses.

Image: A digger was used during an ATM raid in Dartford

In the early hours of 22 July 2019, they used a digger to pull an ATM from the side of a building in Brentwood Road, Essex.

They fled the scene in a van with stolen number plates, but were spotted by police and arrested.

Image: Police found an ATM in the van with heavy black chains still attached to it and £100,000 in cash

Officers found more than £100,000 of cash in the vehicle, which had a specially gouged hole in the roof to allow them to quickly drop machines into.

Advertisement Image: The van’s roof had been gouged open to allow for a cash machine to be dropped into it quickly. Pic: Kent Police Image: Cash was recovered from an ATM raid in Essex

Dramatic bodycam video shows one of the men being pinned to ground as he is detained.

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This video captures the moment our officers stopped a van transporting a stolen cash machine.

Today five men were jailed for more than 22 years between them for their roles in a conspiracy to target machines across the South East.

You can read more here:

— Kent Police (UK) (@kent_police) January 31, 2020

Detectives were then able to link the organised crime network to four similar thefts in Kent over a six month period – in Broadstairs, Tunbridge Wells, Dartford and Gillingham.

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Ringleader Adrian Gowers, 55, of Derwent Way, Gillingham, was sentenced to seven years and two months in jail at Woolwich Crown Court.

Image: Ringleader Adrian Gowers, 55, was jailed for seven years and two months

DI James Derham said his officers worked with “sheer tenacity” to “painstakingly” piece together the gang’s involvement “leaving these men with no other option but to admit their part in the conspiracy”.

He added: “These men had absolutely no regard for the damage their crimes had on the communities they targeted.

Image: Phillip Barnard, 25, was jailed for three years and seven months

“They put the public in danger with their reckless actions, crippled businesses, caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage and stole plant machinery which prevented businesses from moving forward with building works.

Image: David Eves, 48, was sentenced to two years and three months

“In short, their selfish actions had severe consequences for many people including the local communities who relied upon these facilities”.

Image: Billy John Lee, 28, was jailed for five years and nine months Image: John Lee was sentenced to five years and nine months

Phillip Barnard, 25, of High Street, Chelmsford was jailed for three years and seven months, while David Eves, 48, of Larch Road, Dartford, got two years and three months.

John Lee, 49, of New Waverley Road, Basildon, was sentenced to five years and nine months.

Meanwhile, Billy John Lee, 28, also of New Waverley Road, Basildon, received three years and seven months.


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