Gang jailed in connection with Horsham district ATM ram raids

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A gang who were involved in the theft of several cash machines across the Horsham district have been jailed.

Police said Jason Mobey, Jimmy Shea and Les Keet, conspired to target cash machines from premises in Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire, stealing nearly £500,000 and causing almost one million pounds in damage.

In October last year thieves left a trail of destruction after using a stolen forklift to remove an ATM from the Sainsbury’s Local store in Billingshurst. A month previously a JCB was used to rip a cash machine out of the Co-op in Rudgewick.

Police said the trio pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary in relation to the Horsham district thefts along with nine other ram raids across the south.

Mobey and Keet along with two other men Eric Summerfield and Melvyn Beech also pleaded guilty to conspiring to violently rob a Surrey resident within their home, officers added.

Police said a gang used stolen heavy machinery and getaway vehicles to carry out the ram raids during the hours of darkness.

The vehicles were taken from locations close to the targeted sites and many were later burned in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Following an investigation by Surrey and Sussex Police’s Serious Organised Crime Unit, 70 officers from across the force conducted various raids towards the end of last year. During these searches police recovered clothing, vehicles and lifting/cutting equipment relating to offences.

The five men were arrested and then charged with multiple offences.

Police said Mobey, 40, of Macdonald Road, Farnham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was jailed for 10 years, eight months at Hove Crown Court.

Shea, 24, of Nursery Road, Alton pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling). He was jailed for six years.

Keet, 29, of Cobbetts Close, Normandy pleaded guilty conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery. He was jailed for eight years.

Summerfield, 63, of Walnut Tree Close, Guildford pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He was jailed for three years, four months.

Beech, 47, of Kingston Road, Leatherhead pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He was jailed for three years, four months.

Mobey, Shea and Keet have also been handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order, to last five years, officers added.

The investigation was honoured at the National Commercial Robbery Conference to recognise outstanding work and contribution to combat ATM crime.

Head of Serious Organised Crime for Surrey and Sussex, Detective Superintendent Karen Mizzi said: “The sentences handed down show the seriousness of these crimes.

“This successful result was due to the teamwork involved and I am grateful to all of the officers involved in bringing these men to justice.

“This organised crime group were relentless but we were able to gather enough evidence to arrest them and put them before the courts.

“This included the sharing of information between neighbouring forces and partner agencies, which was a massive help in progressing this investigation.

“This investigation by our officers has been recognised at a national level at the NPCC National Commercial Robbery Conference in the Protect category.

“The award was for the innovative work to safeguard businesses and communities and we were commended for our collaborative and joint working during the operation.

“ATM thefts are a national issue and we will work with all our neighbouring forces, and on a national level, to ensure that these organised crime groups are stopped at source.”

Borough Commander for Waverley, Inspector Gary Smith added: “The ATM thefts last year caused misery for those business which were targeted, as well as causing a great deal of concern within the local community and I am delighted to see that those responsible have been brought to justice and will be behind bars for a considerable period of time.

“The actions of the five men not only caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage but also cost people their jobs and greatly inconvenienced local residents who had to travel further to withdraw their money.

“I would like to thank the public for their support as well as the dedicated team of officers who investigated these thefts.”

The thefts led to significant costs for ATM provider, Cardtronics, who suffered sizable losses as a result.

A Cardtronics spokesperson said: “Criminals think this is a victimless crime and they can’t be more wrong as when they steal monies this means as a business that is self-insured the people in the company could lose their jobs as the attacks, losses and monies stolen comes from the company’s bottom line.

“I can state with confidence that when our ATM machines are stolen not only do the public lose a measure of freedom but 99 per cent of the time the shop that housed the machine would have been destroyed due to the collateral damage caused by the plant machinery, some of which never reopened again.

“The audacious nature of these attacks and the continued relentlessness not only had an impact on our company resources but those of the police and the tax payer.”

Libby Clark from the CPS said: “These were a series of audacious, but very carefully planned raids, with the defendants stealing the equipment they needed from nearby building sites, so they could then repeatedly ram the ATMs and remove them, before taking them to remote areas to remove the cash from them.

“The impact of these robberies cannot be underestimated. It’s not just about the money they escaped with. In some cases, there were flats above the cash machines and large scale structural damage was caused to a number of the buildings. None of us can imagine the fear that people living in those flats would have experienced during the raid.

“Such was the weight of evidence against the gang that they were left with no option but to plead guilty.”

The conspiracy regards 11 offences which are as follows:

1. 09/07/18 1.20am - Tesco Express, Ridgway Rd, Farnham

2. 14/08/18 2am - Co-Op, Wych Hill, Woking

3. 17/08/18 3am - Halifax, West Street, Farnham

4. 09/09/18 2.45am - Co-Op, Rudgwick, Sussex

5. 19/09/18 4.25am - Nutbourne Service Station, Nutbourne, Chichester

6. 21/09/18 3am - Sleaford Service Station, Bordon, Hampshire

7. 03/10/18 1.30am - Co-op, Hambledon Rd, Denmead, Hampshire

8. 12/10/18 4.20am - Sainsbury’s Local, High Street, Billingshurst, Sussex

9. 04/11/18 4.43am - Lloyds Bank, Ockham Rd South, East Horsley

10. 05/11/18 4.30am - Tesco Express, Vale Way, Kingsworthy, Winchester

11. 17/11/18 4.03am - HSBC Bank, 74 High Street, Alton

A gang of five men have been jailed for conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery for a combined total of more than 30 years.

Jason Mobey, Jimmy Shea and Les Keet, conspired to target various ATMs across Surrey, Sussex and Hampshire, stealing in excess of half a million and causing approximately £900,000) in damage between July and November 2018.

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The gang would use heavy machinery to carry out the ram raids before stealing the cash machines during the hours of darkness.

Heavy machinery and getaway vehicles would be stolen, generally from close proximity to offence locations with the group favouring rural farming locations or housing developments.

Many of the vehicles stolen were subsequently burnt out in an attempt to destroy evidence.

The lengthy and complex investigation to identify the men involved in the conspiracies was run by Surrey and Sussex Police’s Serious Organised Crime Unit and involved gathering CCTV evidence, forensic investigations, piecing together a large volume of information provided by members of the public and covert tactics.

After gathering sufficient evidence, 70

This gave officers additional evidence to charge the quintet and they all pleaded guilty in April.

We would continue to encourage the public to report any suspicious vehicles or anyone seen acting suspiciously, as well as anyone with any information relating to any of the specific incidents that have taken place recently. Owners of plant machinery should also consider other safeguarding measures to property their property such as not leaving the equipment visible from the main road, concealing it at night and blocking access to it. Those renting equipment should keep any immobiliser code away from the machinery in a secure location.

If you have any information which could assist, please call us on 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

The conspiracy regards 11 offences which are as follows:

1. 09/07/18 1.20am - Tesco Express, Ridgway Rd, Farnham

2. 14/08/18 2am - Co-Op, Wych Hill, Woking

3. 17/08/18 3am - Halifax, West Street, Farnham

4. 09/09/18 2.45am - Co-Op, Rudgwick, Sussex

5. 19/09/18 4.25am - Nutbourne Service Station, Nutbourne, Chichester

6. 21/09/18 3am - Sleaford Service Station, Bordon, Hampshire

7. 03/10/18 1.30am - Co-op, Hambledon Rd, Denmead, Hampshire

8. 12/10/18 4.20am - Sainsbury’s Local, High Street, Billingshurst, Sussex

9. 04/11/18 4.43am - Lloyds Bank, Ockham Rd South, East Horsley

10. 05/11/18 4.30am - Tesco Express, Vale Way, Kingsworthy, Winchester

11. 17/11/18 4.03am - HSBC Bank, 74 High Street, Alton