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Five jailed after police catch cash machine heist gang

Birmingham’s main hospital was among sites targeted in the West Midlands and Staffordshire.

Detectives said a combination of CCTV, forensic analysis and phone evidence was used to bring the gang to justice (West Midlands Police/PA)
Detectives said a combination of CCTV, forensic analysis and phone evidence was used to bring the gang to justice (West Midlands Police/PA)

By Matthew Cooper, PA

Police have released CCTV footage of a string of cash-machine “drag-out” offences committed by an organised crime gang which targeted hospitals, train stations, shops and cafes.

West Midlands Police issued details of 11 linked offences, which netted about £250,000 in Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Birmingham, after five men were jailed for between five and eight years at the city’s Crown Court.

The raids included a theft in October 2018, when masked offenders walked into Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital, loaded an ATM on to a trolley and walked out past members of the public.

Detectives said a combination of CCTV, forensic analysis and phone evidence was used to bring the gang to justice, after they were forced to abandon a Ford Transit van being used as a getaway vehicle.

Ringleader Craig Matthews, who police said has 19 previous convictions spanning 49 offences, left his DNA on a section of tape used to cover cameras at a crime scene in Lichfield.

Matthews, 42, of Benmore Avenue, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was jailed for eight years and seven months.

David Bradley, 28, of Wappenbury Road, Wood End, Coventry, was given five years, while Kenneth Bourne, 38, of Nuneaton Road, Fillongley, Warwickshire, was jailed for six years.

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Craig Matthews (West Midlands Police/PA)

Shane Stojsavljevic, 36, of Hermes Crescent, Henley Green, Coventry, was sentenced to seven years and two months. Charlie Ward, 27, of Pepys Corner, Tile Hill, Coventry, was handed five years.

All five defendants admitted conspiracy to burgle.

Detective Chief Inspector Annie Miller, of West Midlands Police, said: “This was sophisticated organised crime which showed a huge amount of planning.

“While no one was hurt during the spree, the gang left a trail of destruction which left victims facing huge bills.

“Thanks to great police work, we were able to build up a detailed picture of the gang, their vehicles, reconnaissance and movements.

“We’re continuing to work with the cash machine industry to help increase security to reduce the risk of them being targeted by criminals in this way in the future.”

PA

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