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4 March 2015, 07:37 | Updated: 4 March 2015, 07:43
Five men have been jailed for a total of 22 years for their involvement in a series of ram raids across the East.
The smash and grabs were carried out at 12 banks and businesses, as well as six burglaries during the nine-month crime spree.
They used JCB vehicles to smash into businesses before ripping out cash machines, used cutting equipment to help themselves to more cash and escaped in vehicles they had plundered in burglaries across the Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Norfolk and Lincolnshire.
In total, they got away with £301,560 from cash machines and stole cars and jewellery worth more than £100,000.
Jospeh Upton, 43, of Murrow Lane, Parsons Drove, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, John Smith, 39, of Small Lode, in Upwell, Cambridgeshire; Albert Smith, 38, of Common Road, in Potton, Bedfordshire; Alfred Stanley, 37, of Sandon Close, in Sandy, Bedfordshire, all pleaded guilty to conspiracy burgle and conspiracy to steal motorvehicles between January and October 2012 at Cambridge Crown Court on Friday (February 27).
John Christopher Smith, 23, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle.
Joseph Upton jailed for five years; John Leonard Smith four years and nine months; Alfred Stanley Smith sentenced to four years; Albert Smith four years and nine months; John Christopher Smith jailed for three-and-a-half years.
The sentences will run consecutively to the other jail terms.
The group would target homes in order to steal vehicles for use in the ATM offences. They would disguise the vehicles by obtaining false number plates and then effectively hide them in plain sight for later use.
They were caught after they stole a ‘trap’ Ford Ranger from a car park in Cambridge. This vehicle was transported back to the area of Potton traveller site near to the address of Albert Smith and then later taken to a traveller site in Cambridgeshire where Joseph Upton lived.
The same day, the group was responsible for disguising a stolen Audi which was then moved from St Neots to Upwell and was subsequently used during a violent robbery at an isolated farmhouse in Bedfordshire five days later.
Four of the gang (all except for Christopher Smith) were each jailed for 10 years for that offence.
The surveillance footage from those offences is today being released by ERSOU. ERSOU then continued building a case against the five for their roles in the ATM burglaries.
T/Detective Superintendent Neil Ballard said: "ERSOU will continue to target organised criminals operating in the region.
"This case shows that we will catch them and ensure they are convicted, hence reducing the threat from organised crime to the communities of the eastern region."
T/Detective Sergeant Stuart Dolan said: "I am really pleased with the sentences given to this group of individuals. Since their arrest in October 2012 it is clear that the number of organised ATM attacks during the eastern region has dropped dramatically."