Harold Hill and Hornchurch men convicted of exploding cash machines and stealing more than £300k
- Credit: Met Police
Four men who used a highly-dangerous explosive gas to break open cash machines and steal more than £300,000, have been sentenced to more than 14 years in prison today.
Sonny Michael Hagland, 26, of Carnforth House, Petersfield Avenue, Harold Hill, and Callum Jason Brown, 26, of High Street, Hornchurch, were two members of the gang.
The series of offences, investigated by the Met’s Flying Squad, took place between December 2015 and July 2016, primarily across north, east and south London.
The gang targeted establishments such as restaurants and convenience stores which had ATM machines on their premises.
They would break into the rear of the premises in the middle of the night, before using oxygen-acetylene gas “cutters” to break open the cash machine from inside the building.
You may also want to watch:
In total, the gang stole more than £300,000.
On one occasion they set fire to the machine, and more than £40,000 of banknotes were destroyed.
- 1 Consultations open on rolling out school streets to 12 new sites
- 2 Harold Hill 18-year-old given suspended sentence for ATM robberies
- 3 Coffee shop apologises for 'mis-post' offering kitten as Christmas prize
- 4 Romford MP slams Crossrail delay as it will miss Queen's platinum jubilee
- 5 'Cheating surge': Dating site reveals how many people are having affairs in your area
- 6 Future of bus route hangs in the balance as consultation ends
- 7 Met Office warns of flooding risk with heavy rain set to hit London
- 8 Man charged with multiple child exploitation offences to stand trial
- 9 Cabinet to vote on proposed changes to how housing is allocated in Havering
- 10 Shaken Not Stirred: James Bond fan co-founds group and brings thousands of 007 lovers together
They also broke into at least four homes to steal high-value vehicles which they would fit with false number plates and use to get to and from crime scenes.
Once, they were confronted by a witness who was chased away by members of the gang brandishing sticks.
DNA from tools left at the scene of one of the offences, as well as two of the vehicles used by the gang, was used to link the offences to the gang.
Officers from the Met’s Flying Squad launched an investigation and quickly established a link between the offences.
The gang’s final offence took place in Birmingham on July 30 2016, where they unsuccessfully attempted to break into an ATM situated inside a pizza restaurant.
The gang were arrested a short time later on the M6.
Hagland pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit non-residential burglary and was sentenced to five years.
Brown also pleaded guilty to non-residential burglary and was sentenced to 20 months, suspended for two years.
James Anthony Whitlock, 32, of Chelmsford, and Glenn Levi Friend, 26, of Kent, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit non-residential burglary.
Whitlock was sentenced to four-and-a-half years and Friend three years.
DC Lewis Sanderson from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “These men have showed a callous disregard for the safety of others. It is sheer good fortune that no-one was injured - or worse - as a result of their actions.
“They caused significant damage to a number of small businesses who housed the ATMs on their premises, causing great inconvenience to the local community and huge cost and distress to the business owners themselves.
“I am pleased that today they have been jailed for a significant period of time, reflecting the seriousness of the offences.”