UK & World News
ATM Gang Jailed For £700K Circular Saw Raids
A gang of circular saw-wielding thieves who stole almost £700,000 from supermarket cash points have been jailed for a total of 24 years.
Noel Reilly, 33, David Holmes, 31, Darren Buckley, 35, and Simon Phillips, 33, struck at more than 30 stores across the country over a 12-month period.
Wearing balaclavas to hide their faces, they smashed their way into supermarkets using axes and hammers before breaking into ATMs with saws normally used for cutting rail tracks.
The quartet also carried out burglaries in which high-performance cars, including a BMW M3 and Audi RS4, were targeted and used to escape the scene of their cash-point raids at speeds of up to 150mph.
When detectives caught up with the gang they found a laptop one member had used to search "cutting open ATM machines" and scour websites of ATM manufacturers and car magazines.
West Midlands Police Inspector Warren Hines said: "These offences were clearly well-rehearsed and, in some cases, committed very efficiently in just a matter of minutes.
"They used petrol-powered disc cutters to hack into the cash points. It's estimated the full toll of their exploits, taking into account the cash and cars stolen plus the damage to ATM machines, approached almost £1m."
The men first struck at a Co-op in Maidstone, Kent, in November 2010 - sending sparks flying as they sliced into its ATM and removed cash trays with their saw.
They escaped with £19,250 - but would go on to pocket a total of £684,210 from their raids.
Police launched a nationwide hunt for the gang following two break-ins just 20 minutes apart at Birmingham stores.
Investigators made a breakthrough when they spotted men acting suspiciously around an Audi RS4 at a lock-up in Harborne, on the outskirts of Birmingham.
The vehicle was followed to a garage where forensics experts lifted clues from its interior which identified the four men as suspects.
They were arrested during co-ordinated raids in September last year - but even after being released on bail Reilly and Holmes carried out further raids, before they were tracked to a rented cottage in Taunton, Somerset.
When police stormed the building they found the pair with £86,000 in cash - stolen from the Bridport Co-op burglary earlier that day - plus a laptop and Audi S4 linked to a Taunton village break-in.
All four men admitted conspiracy to burgle commercial premises and residential homes - and were jailed for a total of 24 years and seven months at Birmingham Crown Court.