On Air

Love Songs Midnight - 1:00AM

Now Playing

James Blunt You're Beautiful
You are viewing content from The Breeze Southampton.
Would you like to make this your preferred location?

Gang jailed after stealing nearly a million pounds from ATMs across three counties

A gang of five men who targeted various ATM's across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex between July and November 2018 have been sentenced to a total of 30 years in prison.

Jason Mobey, Jimmy Shea and Les Keet stole around £900,000 from ATM's using heavy machinery to carry out the ram raids before stealing the cash machines in the cover of darkness.

Heavy machinery and getaway vehicles would be stolen, generally from nearby the targeted ATMs with the group favouring rural farming locations or housing developments.

According to police, many of the stolen vehicles were then burnt out in an attempt to destroy evidence.

Jason Mobey, Les Keet, Eric Summerfield and Melvyn Beech further conspired to violently rob a Surrey resident in their home.

Surrey and Sussex Police's Serious Organised Crime Unit led the investigation to identify the men which involved gathering CCTV evidence, forensic investigations, pieceing together a large volume of information provided by members of the public, and covert tactics.

After gathering sufficient evidence, 70 officers from Surrey Police with the assistance of Sussex Police and Hampshire Constabulary, conducted various pre-dawn raids on 20th December 2018.

During these searches police recovered clothing, vehicles and lifting/cutting equipment relating to offences.

This gave officers additional evidence to charge the gang and they all pleaded guilty in April 2019.

Jason Mobey, who's 40 and from Macdonald Road in Farnham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling) and conspiracy to commit burglary - he was sentenced to 10 years and 8 months in prison.

Jimmy Shea, who's 24 and from Nursery Road in Alton, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling) - he was given 6 years.

Les Keet, who's 29 and from Cobbetts Close in Normandy, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery - he was jailed for 8 years.

Eric Summerfield who's 63 and from Walnut Tree Close in Guildford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery - he was given 3 years and 4 months.

Melvyn Beech, who's 47 and from Kingston Road in Letherhead, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery - he was sentenced to 3 years and 4 months in prison.

Mobey, Shea and Keet have also been handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order to last five years.

The investigation itself was honoured at national level at the National Commercial Robbery Conference to recognise the outstanding work and contribution to combat ATM crime.

Head of Serious Organised Crime for Surrey and Sussex, Detective Superintendent Karen Mizzi, said: "The sentences handed down show the seriousness of these crimes.

"This successful result was due to the teamwork involved and I am grateful to all of the officers involved in bringing these men to justice.

"This organised crime group were relentless but we were able to gather enough evidence to arrest them and put them before the courts.

"This included sharing information between neighbouring forces and partner agencies, which was a massive help in progressing this investigation.

"The award was for the innovative work to safeguard businesses and communities and we were commended for our collaborative and joint working during the operation.

"ATM thefts are a national issue and we will work with all our neighbouring forces, and on a national level, to ensure that these organised crime groups are stopped at source."

Borough Commander for Waverley, Inspector Gary Smith added: "The ATM thefts last year caused misery for those businesses which were targeted, as well as causing a great deal of concern within the local community and I am delighted to see that those responsible have been brought to justice and will be behind bars for a considerable period of time.

"The actions of the five men not only caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage but also cost people their jobs and greatly inconvenienced local residents who had to travel further to withdraw their money.

"I would like to thank the public for their support as well as the dedicated team of officers who investigated these thefts."

Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro said: "Congratulations to Surrey and Sussex Police for a fine piece of detective work.

"These were very serious crimes which caused considerable alarm in the community.

"It's good to know that these wicked men are now behind bars."

The thefts led to significant costs to ATM provider, Cardtronics, who suffered sizeable losses as a result.

A Cadtronics spokesperson wrote in the business impact statement: "Criminals think this is a victimless crime and they can't be more wrong as when they steal monies this means as a business that is self-insured the people in the company could lose their jobs as the attacks, losses, and monies stolen comes from the company's bottom line.

"I can state with confidence that when our ATM machines are stolen not only do the public lose a measure of freedom but 99% of the time the shop that housed the machine would have been destroyed due to the collateral damage caused by the plant machinery, some of which never reopened again.

"The audacious nature of these attacks and the continue relentlessness not only had an impact on our company resources but those of the police and the tax payer."

More from Local News