A gang of three London men have been jailed for a total of 14 years following a foiled attempt to steal an ATM machine containing a substantial sum of cash.
The trio appeared at Wood Green Crown Court where they pleaded guilty to a combined total of 13 burglary offences, which spanned areas across London, Sussex, Suffolk, Essex and Kent.
The gang used a specially-modified seven-and-a-half tonne truck to pull the cash machine out of the wall of a Barclays bank branch in Golders green. They were arrested after a 10-mile chase in which six police cars were damaged.
Detective Inspector David Malcolm, of the Finchley Flying Squad, says: "The evidence against this gang of three is not only overwhelming but testimony to how much planning and precision they used to commit crime. This team went to great lengths to ensure that they had specialist equipment to aid them in their criminal activities."
The trio had been the subject of a Finchley Flying Squad covert surveillance operation codenamed Chillingwood.
Officers located a warehouse where specialist equipment used to disable alarms and execute burglaries was discovered. These items included a snake-eye camera, a laser cutter, heavy-duty jacks and crow-bars.
Modification of the truck used in the attempted ATM theft also took place at the warehouse. A hydraulic metal arm (used to grab and pull the ATM from its hole in the wall) had been attached to the rear of the vehicle. This was integrated with a remote control mechanism/lever to control it for the driver to use. The truck was also fitted with false number plates.
A camera device had been fitted to the bumper of the truck along with a display unit above the driver's seat. These modifications were to aid the driver, Paul Thompson, in the extraction of the ATM machine.
Thompson's accomplices, Jason Perry and Darren Rutter, were arrested in a separate vehicle parked close to the Barclays Bank.