A gang of seven men that caused explosions at cash machines around the country has been jailed for a total of 92 years.
The group stole more than £550,000 and caused more than £160,000 worth of damage in attacks on ATMs at 13 banks and supermarkets in Scotland and England, Merseyside Police said.
The men scoped out the premises in high-performance cars, which they would steal and use in the offences, with evidence showing them using Audi RS4s and RS6s as well as Mercedes A45s and GLA45 AMGs.
In a raid at the Co-op in Carnoustie, Angus, last February, which proved to be their last, they sawed through the roller-shutter doors, then dragged the ATM out using a Land Rover defender and straps, escaping with £16,000. The gang also had a lorry with a stolen trailer unit which had been converted to house a stolen RS4 and had ramps so the vehicle could be quickly loaded on to it after an offence, police said.
It had hammocks where the men could rest and large fuel canisters to cut down on petrol station visits while police also recovered petrol-powered grinders, gas cylinders, cloned plates, tools and electrical tape.
The group, from the Merseyside area, were caught following a 12-month police investigation conducted by Titan, the north-west regional organised crime unit.
Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Green, head of Titan, said: “These seven individuals believed they were untouchable and they used dangerous tactics in targeting ATMs which clearly put members of the public at risk.
“The techniques used by the men involved in these attacks were extremely risky and we are fortunate that no-one was hurt.
“The sentencing today is a clear message to those offenders who believe that they can avoid detection by committing crimes in different forces - we are relentless in our pursuit of criminals involved in serious organised crime and there are no borders.”
Following a police operation on 28 June, 2016, the men were charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion and all, with the exception of Gary Carey, were also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. The ATM attacks happened in Merseyside, Cheshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire and Suffolk in England, and Aberdeen, Perth and Carnoustie in Scotland in 2015 and 2016.
The men were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday.