Gang jailed for ‘ex­plo­sive’ raids on 27 cash machines

Po­lice: In­no­cent by­s­tanders lucky not to be in­jured in crime spree

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS - By Goolis­tan Cooper

A THREE-MAN gang who blew up cash machines in west Lon­don and the home coun­ties have been jailed.

Jamie Dug­gan, An­thony Rod­well and Trevor Collins used “ex­plo­sive gas” to rob 27 ATMs in a se­ries of au­da­cious of­fences be­tween July 2014 and April 2015.

Po­lice say it was lucky no in­no­cent by­s­tanders were hurt in the blasts, which were pri­mar­ily in banks and post of­fices.

Dur­ing their ninemonth crime spree, eight in­ci­dents took place in Houn­slow, eight in Eal­ing and four in Hilling­don.

There were also three of­fences in Sur­rey and three in Thames Val­ley.

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

Both 26-year-old Dug­gan, from Philip Road in Staines, and Rod­well, 27, from Lau­ren Gar­dens in Ash­ford, Mid­dle­sex, were given 12-year sen­tences each for con­spir­acy to com­mit bur­glary with in­tent to steal and con­spir­acy to cause ex­plo­sions likely to en­dan­ger life or cause se­ri­ous in­jury to prop­erty.

Collins, 26, from Christo­phers Drive in Hayes, re­ceived a nineyear sen­tence for the same charges.

Dug­gan had ad­mit­ted guilt in De­cem­ber 2015, while Rod­well and Collins en­tered guilty pleas last Thurs­day.

De­tec­tive In­spec­tor Scott Hart­ley, of the Fly­ing Squad, said: “Given that this se­ries of crimes in­volved 27 of­fences, it is for­tu­nate 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.”

Af­ter ex­plod­ing the cash machines, the gang would try to break in and at­tempt to steal cash from the back of the ma­chine. They were only suc­cess­ful on eight oc­ca­sions, when they pock­eted around £356,300.

Dam­age caused to the build­ings by the ex­plo­sions to­talled just more than £320,000.

Po­lice say three venues were tar­geted within an hour on Oc­to­ber 6 2014, and in all cases the ve­hi­cles be­ing driven had stolen or cloned num­ber plates.

Fly­ing Squad of­fi­cers were able to iden­tify Dug­gan as a sus­pect af­ter his DNA was found on the in­side of the safe door of an ATM robbed in Green­ford Road on Novem­ber 18 2014, which was the 19th of­fence.

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 July 15 2015, Rod­well the fol­low­ing month on Au­gust 24 and Collins on Septem­ber 9.

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 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.”

MAN­GLED ATM: A de­stroyed cash ma­chine in Hilling­don

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