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Gang jailed for £700k ATM crime spree
11:11am Tuesday 18th September 2012 in News
A GANG of circular saw-wielding thieves who attacked supermarket ATMs across the country including a Quinton store bagging almost £700,000 have been jailed for a total of 24 years.
Noel Reilly, David Holmes, Darren Buckley and Simon Phillips struck at 32 Co-Op stores from Devon to Kent, Lincoln and the Midlands over a year, pocketing £684,210.
The quartet also carried out numerous burglaries in which high-performance cars were targeted and used to escape their cash-point raids, often at speeds of up to 150mph.
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 yesterday.
Detectives from West Midlands Police's Serious Acquisitive Crime (SAC) team led a nationwide hunt for the men following early-hours break-ins at Co-Op stores in Knowle at 3.15am on June 3 and Quinton just 20 minutes later.
And after extensive covert work, police spotted men acting suspiciously around an Audi RS4 at a Harborne lock-up on the night of September 21.
The vehicle was monitored back to the garage where forensics experts lifted clues from its interior which identified the four men as suspects.
They were arrested at their West Midlands homes on September 28 and bailed pending continued forensics analysis and enquiries.
During that time Walsall men Reilly, aged 33 and 31-year-old Holmes carried out more jobs in Morehampstead, Sherbourne and Bridport but were tracked to a rented cottage in Taunton, Somerset.
When police stormed the building on November 2 they found the pair with £86,000 stolen from the Bridport Co-Op burglary earlier that day plus a lap-top and Audi S4 linked to a Taunton village break-in.
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 one million pounds.
"They thought they were untouchable and we proved them wrong."
All but one of the break-ins were at Co-Op stores including in Parkhall, Walsall, on September 3 and Northfield on 16 September with the other being a Total garage in Redditch on May 12 when the same tactics yielded £33,700.
At all four West Midlands stores they fled empty handed after security devices, triggered by the break-in, released smoke into the stores.
All four men are subject to ongoing court action under the Proceeds of Crime Act where assets obtained through illegal means will be seized.