Thieves Jailed for Ticket Machine Theft

18 September 2010, 08:23 | Updated: 18 September 2010, 08:42

Thieves who stole more than £16,000 from rail station ticket machines in nine months are now starting jail terms.

34 year old Mark Loveridge, of Cople, Bedfordshire, his stepson Murphy Loveridge, who's 19 and also from Cople, and his brother 42 year old Albey Loveridge, of Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, targeted more than 20 stations across Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex, Cambridge Crown Court heard.

Judge Anthony Bate gave Mark Loveridge a four-year term, Murphy Loveridge a 10-month custodial sentence and Albey Loveridge a three-year term after being told they committed more than 50 offences between March 2008 and July 2009.

Prosecutors said the thieves attached a rope to machines then ripped off the fronts with a car.

The court heard more than £168,000 worth of damage was caused.

Detectives said the three formed one of the most prolific ticket machine gangs they had dealt with.

``They left a trail of destruction,'' said Detective Sergeant Craig Payne. ``Their inability to stop thieving meant that the clues they left behind eventually caught up with them.''