Four men who caused a series of explosions and fires at cash machines have been jailed for a combined total of more than 43 years.
The month-long crime spree resulted in the theft of £120,000 from ten cash machines across London and the Home Counties.
To blow the ATMs the gang pumped a combustible gas into the machine and then ignited it from a short distance with an electrical charge. Only half of the attempts succeeded in breaching the secure cash compartment inside the machines.
They were caught after CCTV images showed a known criminal wearing a T-shirt branded with the wording 'Seasoned Offendor'.
Detective Inspector Mark Bedford, of the Flying Squad, says: "This crime network caused a series of large explosions in petrol stations and it was by sheer luck that no unsuspecting members of the public were injured as they passed by. The substantial sentences handed down today reflect the danger posed to the public by the action of this reckless gang.”
Criminals blew up 492 cash machines across Europe in the first half of 2016, an 80% increase on the same period the previous year, according to recent figures from the European ATM Security Team (East).