On Wednesday, 5 April 7 men were convicted at Liverpool Crown Court for a series of thefts/attempt thefts from cash machines throughout the UK following an investigation conducted by TITAN. They will be sentenced on 19 April 2017.
In December 2015, Detectives from TITAN started a covert investigation into an organised crime group originating from the Merseyside area. This crime group was thought to be responsible for causing explosions at ATMs across the length and breadth of the country in order to steal their contents. Detectives tracked the group as they travelled around the country scoping premises, which contained ATMs, and addresses with high performance vehicles, which they would steal and use in the offences.
Evidence was covertly gathered showing the group using a variety of cars, including high powered Audi RS4’s, RS6’s and Mercedes A45 and GLA45 AMG’s.
They also stole Motorhomes to transport the equipment they used to carry out the ATM gas attacks. Officers even recovered a Scania lorry with a stolen trailer unit. When officers opened up the trailer they found it had been converted to house a stolen RS4, the trailer came complete with ramps so that the vehicle could be quickly loaded on to it following an offence. The offenders also had hammocks strung up in the rear of the trailer so they could use it to rest. A number of large fuel canisters (used to refuel the Audi and tractor unit) were also stored onboard to cut down on visits to petrol stations and motorway forecourts. Other items recovered included petrol powered grinders, gas cylinders, cloned plates, tools and electrical tape. Police were able to obtain DNA profiles from various items which linked to Carl Cavanagh, Michael Galea, and Anthony Conroy.
Running alongside the covert investigation, the TITAN investigation team also began to reactively collate and investigate a number of similar offences believed to have been committed by this crime group, throughout England and Scotland, dating back to late 2014. In addition, a number of ancillary offences connected to the conspiracy have also been investigated, these include the theft of a number of high value cars taken during burglaries, which were then used in the commission of the ATM offences.
Following a police operation on 28th June 2016, eight men were charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion under s.3 (1) (a) Explosive Substances Act 1883, and all with the exception of Gary Carey, were also charged with conspiracy to commit burglary.
Andrew White, 28 years, of Exeter Street, St Helens, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and was found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions.
Anthony White, 26 years. of Kingswood, Huyton, has been found guilty of both offences.
Nanu Miah, 28 years, of Sparbrook, Birmingham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary and was found guilty of conspiracy to cause explosions.
Anthony Conroy, 29 years, of Wavertree Vale, Wavertree, pleaded guilty to both offences.
Carl Cavanagh, 33 years, of Barford, Huyton, pleaded guilty to both offences.
Michael Galea, 41 years, of Gregson Road, Prescot, was found guilty of both offences
Gary Carey, 40 years, of Burford Road Liverpool, was found guilty of conspiracy to cause an explosion.
Scott Pearson, 35 years, of Ena Crescent, Leigh, was found not guilty of burglary.
These men were responsible for ATM attacks at 13 business premises (banks and supermarkets) in Merseyside, Cheshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, Suffolk, and Aberdeen, Perth and Carnoustie in Scotland. These attacks resulted in losses to the businesses targeted by the thieves, not to mention thousdands of pounds worth of damage to the properties. The offenders were also involved in a number of burglaries, which involved the theft of high value motor cars.
Detective Chief Superintendent Chris Green, who heads up the North West Regional Crime Unit (TITAN), said: "This is the culmination of an extensive 12-month investigation into crimes involving thefts from cashpoint machines across and throughout the UK and a number of burglaries at residential properties."
"Given the geographical spread of these offences the investigation has been complex and extensive. To gather all the evidence for the conspiracy to put before the courts detectives have worked together with investigation teams from Scotland, Cheshire, Thames Valley and Gloucestershire Police."
Det Chief Supt Green, added: "These eight individuals believed they were untouchable and they used dangerous tactics in targeting ATM's, which clearly put members of the public at risk. The techniques used by the men involved in these attacks were extremely risky and we are fortunate that no-one was hurt.
"The sentencing today is a clear message to those offenders who believe that they can avoid detection by committing crimes in different forces - we are relentless in our pursuit of criminals involved in serious organised crime and there are no borders. We will work with other forces up and down the country to identify those involved in serious crime to ensure we can put them before the courts and behind bars. This case is an example of painstakingly piecing together of huge amounts of complex evidence, to bring people to justice.
Full report to follow