A gang which stole almost £700,000 from cash machines by sawing into them with power tools was jailed for a total of 24 years yesterday.
The four crooks used professional circular saws to remove the frontages of dozens of ATM machines from supermarkets across the UK in a 14-month long crime spree.
They made their getaways in stolen souped-up sports cars which they used to outrun cops at speeds of over 150mph in daring night-time chases.
Between September 2010 and November 2011 they raided 33 supermarkets and homes, stealing £684,210 in cash and £250,000-worth of cars.
Police yesterday released dramatic CCTV of the gang carefully carving a cash machine straight out of the wall after they were jailed at Birmingham Crown Court.
Noel Reilly, 33, of Birchills, West Mids., and David Holmes, 31, of Walsall, West Mids., were each jailed for seven years after they admitted two charges of conspiring to commit commercial burglaries.
Simon Phillips, 33, of Billesley, West Mids., was jailed for five years and Darren Buckley, 35, of Acocks Green, Birmingham, was sentenced to five years seven months.
Jailing them, Judge Peter Tomlinson told them: “The burglaries invariably involved the use of high performance motor cars that you or other accomplices were prepared to drive dangerously in order to avoid arrest.
“Those motor cars were very often stolen to order.
“In order to gain criminal access to those machines items of heavy duty cutting machinery such as circular saws were used.
“There was an added level of sophistication because of the way in which the protective devices were bypassed through the use of a template designed to guide the cutting equipment to the right part of the machine and counter the security devices fitted within it.
“The conspiracy involved the deliberate targeting of domestic and non-domestic premises, a significant degree of planning and organisation and the use of sophisticated equipment.
“Each case involved theft and damage that caused a great degree of economic and commercial loss to the victim.”
After targeting a cash point in Suffolk, the gang made off with £83,000 in cash.
The court heard they scoured the pages of Auto Trader to find people selling high-end second-hand sports cars being sold locally.
They then traced the owners before stealing £250,000-worth of Audi and BMW sports cars which they used as getaway vehicles.
Shocking CCTV of the raids shows the masked group smashing through the automatic doors of a supermarket.
Neil Cartwright, prosecuting, said: “The outer casing was smashed down using drills that had been used to gain entry, thereby exposing the safe that’s part of the Automated Telling Machine.
“They used petrol-driven circular saws usually employed to cut railway track.
“In total four such devices were used, each with a retail value of £1,500.
“On one occasion a pursuit was conducted at speeds just over 150mph.
“As far as police were concerned the offenders were making their getaway at an even higher speed.”
Mr Cartwright added that one car, found after it was dumped following a chase, had been travelling so fast that its brake discs were still glowing red hot when it was discovered.
He added: “Their determination was to outrun the police if necessary, even if that meant placing other road users at considerable risk.”
The getaway vehicles had been driven at such high speed that it was impossible to identify which of the men had been driving.
Just #83,000 of the stolen money was recovered, with a Proceeds of Crime hearing scheduled later this year.
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