North West Regional Organised Crime Unit

Operation Galleopsis

The NWROCU worked closely with the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) to identify a national series of ATM thefts.

This investigation centred on a Merseyside gang who trawled the country stealing ATMs and the cash inside them.

The four offenders targeted business premises including shops, colleges, leisure complexes and theme parks, rendering the alarm systems inoperable and then returning days later when the premises were closed to break in to either steal the contents of the ATM machine or in some cases the entire machine.

The offences took place in Cleveland, North Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, West Mercia, Cornwall and Hampshire in early 2011.

The gang from Merseyside was identified as a common link between the offences and a surveillance operation was undertaken by the NWROCU, which quickly identified the whole group.

The trio were observed to hire motor vehicles and travel the length and breadth of the UK seeking out potential target premises. The investigation team was able to prove that within a seven-month period they were responsible for at least eight offences where a substantial amount of cash was stolen.

They were sentenced at Preston Crown Court on February 20, 2012 to 19 years and three months.