An organised crime gang who robbed ATM machines in Lincolnshire and across the East Midlands has been jailed for a total of over 20 years.
Four men were sentenced in relation to a charge of conspiracy to burgle worth around £350,000 in cash and damage, at Lincoln Crown Court, today.
Gary Michael Self, 47, of Coneygrey Spinney, Flintham, near Newark and Reuben Thomas Reynolds, 30, of College Close, Newark, were both jailed for six-and-a-half years.
John Ronald Charles, 38, of Welbeck Road, Retford was jailed for five years and Nathan Robert Steele, 31, of Carlton Road, Newark was jailed for four-and-a-half years.
This highly sophisticated organised crime gang, which specialised in the theft of automated teller machines (ATMs) from shops across the region, was brought to justice after a lengthy investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU).
The crime gang burgled houses and firms in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Norfolk, operating between November 2011 and February this year.
They stole cars for transport to and from crime scenes and industrial or agricultural vehicles to rip the ATMs from the walls of the commercial buildings.
The gang would take the ATMs to remote rural locations and use oxyacetylene cutting equipment to break them open and access the cash.
Thefts were successful at the National Westminster Bank in Bingham, Nottinghamshire, The Co-Op store in Kegworth, Leicestershire and the Co-Op in Asfordby, Leicestershire.
Attempted thefts disturbed by the police were at Retford in Nottinghamshire, Shepshed in Leicestershire, Two Dales in Derbyshire and Long Bennington in Lincolnshire.
The gang’s crime spree was ended on February 27 when they were disturbed by a police patrol in Derbyshire as they were preparing to attack another ATM machine in the area.
Self tried to evade capture but was tracked down by a police helicopter and dog handler.
Further EMSOU investigations led to the arrest of the other offenders.
DCI Alan Mason, of Lincolnshire Police and EMSOU, said: “This sentencing sends out a powerful message to organised crime groups across the region and country.
"If you indulge in criminality in the East Midlands you will be swiftly arrested, investigated and put before the courts.
“Our investigation demonstrates the benefits of collaborative crime fighting across the Midlands and it is important that the extensive hard work of officers originating from Derbyshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire is recognised.
“We would urge anyone with any information on organised crime groups, whether they are involved in theft, fraud, drug distribution, or violence, to get in touch with ourselves, or to report it anonymously via independent charity, Crimestoppers, immediately.”