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'Exploding cash machine' gang jailed following Flying Squad investigation

'Exploding cash machine' gang jailed following Flying Squad investigation Damage left after incident in Hillingdon

Three men have today been sentenced to over 30 years imprisonment at Kingston Crown Court for using ‘explosive gas’ to rob 27 cash machines (ATMs) across London and the Home Counties.

 

Jamie Duggan, 26 (27.09.90) of Philip Road, Staines-Upon-Thames, Middlesex was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property. 

 

Anthony Rodwell, 27 (23.11.89) of Lauren Gardens, Ashford, Middlesex was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property. 

 

Trevor Collins, 26 (16.09.90) of Christophers Drive, Hayes, Middlesex was sentenced to nine years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property. 

 

Duggan pleaded guilty in December 2015; Rodwell and Collins entered guilty pleas on Thursday, 2 February.

 

The audacious series of offences, investigated by the Met’s Flying Squad, took place between July 2014 and April 2015, primarily in banks and post offices in west London, Surrey and Thames Valley. 

 

The incidents involved a method of entry that was highly dangerous, not only for those committing the offence, but particularly for members of the public either living in properties attached to the venues or passing by, unaware that an explosion was about to take place.

To gain entry to the ATMs, the gang pumped a combustible oxyacetylene gas into the cash machine and then ignited it from around 15 metres away with an electrical charge.

 

Detective Inspector Scott Hartley, of the Flying Squad, said: "Given that this series of crimes involved 27 offences, it is fortunate that no unsuspecting members of the public were injured.

"In one case, the front fascia of the ATM and other debris was blown 30 to 40 metres from the scene. If this debris had struck a member of the public or a passing car, the resulting injuries could easily have been fatal."


Explosive footage released

 

After exploding the cash machine, the gang would then have to break into the venue in order to access the back of the machine where they would attempt to remove cash from inside. 

During the ten month crime spree, 19 attempts made by the gang failed. In the majority of failures they exploded the ATM but were unable to access the safe to access the cash. In three cases they were either disturbed or confronted by members of the public and fled the scene leaving their equipment behind.

The remaining eight offences resulted in a total cash loss of approximately £356,330 with damage caused to the venues as a result of the explosions totalling £320,055.

The gang was found to have robbed more than one venue on the same night. On 6 October 2014, three venues were targeted in little more than an hour.

In all cases the vehicles displayed stolen or cloned number plates.

Of the 27 offences, eight took place in Hounslow, four in Hillingdon and eight in Ealing. There were also three offences in Surrey and three in Thames Valley.

 

 

Flying Squad officers were able to identify Duggan as a suspect after his DNA was found on the inside of the safe door of the ATM robbed in Greenford Road on 18 November 2014 [offence 19]. This incident was one of the gang’s unsuccessful attempts to access the cash inside the machine, and they made of with just £30.

Having identified Duggan, detectives were able to quickly identify his two associates as Rodwell and Collins.

Duggan was arrested on 15 July 2015 and the following day he was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal contrary to S.1 (1) Criminal Law Act 1977. Following authority granted by the Attorney General, he was later charged with conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, contrary to S.3 Explosives Substances Act 1883. 

Rodwell was arrested on 24 August 2015; on 21 October 2015 he was charged with conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal contrary to S.1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977. On 27 November 2015 he was further charged with conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, contrary to S.3 Explosives Substances Act 1883. 

Collins was arrested on 9 September 2015; he was charged on 21 October 2015 with conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal contrary to S.1(1) Criminal Law Act 1977. On 27 November 2015 he was further charged with conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property, contrary to S.3 Explosives Substances Act 1883. 

All three were remanded in custody to await today’s verdicts.

DI Hartley added: "It was sheer luck that nobody was killed due to the actions of this gang. They handled an extremely dangerous substance carelessly and with complete disregard for the safety of others. The level of threat they posed to community safety has been fully reflected in today’s verdicts.

"In addition to the danger the activities of this gang posed to the community, there was extensive damage to a number of small businesses who housed the ATMs as well as significant inconvenience caused to communities who in many cases rely on the use of the ATM itself or the facilities and services provided by the host businesses."

Steve Hurst, Head of SaferCash, said: “These sentences reflect the serious nature of the offences and sends a message out to others who may contemplate this type of crime. This gang embarked on a dangerous nine month crime spree attacking ATM's across London and the southeast. The damage caused has been substantial and the impact to the local community significant. Local stores have been closed for repairs and in some cases the ATM has been removed permanently. The industry has responded by implementing a variety of deterrents to prevent similar attacks in the future.”

 

 

 

 

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