A man has been jailed for more than 10 years for his involvement in a gang which blew up several cash machines.
Gary Mills, 40, of Fleetwood Close, Chalfont St Giles was one of four men sentenced to 10 years and eight months in prison for causing explosions at ATMs across west London and Bucks, including one in Denham.
The Metropolitan Police said it was sheer luck that no passers by were injured as a result of the explosions, some of which happened at petrol stations.
The men pumped gas into the machines and triggered the explosion with an electrical charge.
However, on some occasions, the offenders were forced to leave empty handed, as whilst extensive damage was caused to the property housing the machine, they could not get to the cash.
Other gang members Trevor McCarthy, 43 of Barlby Road, Ladbroke Grove, Ray Abraham, 36, of Hobart Drive Southampton and 26-year-old Daniel Dorkin of Baynard Close, Basingstoke, were also jailed for more than 10 years each.
All four pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal, conspiracy to commit criminal damage and recklessness endangering life on December 20 at Kingston Crown Court.
Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad launched an investigation following a series of 10 burglaries at cash machines across London and the Home Counties including Marlborough, Twickenham, Windsor and Uxbridge.
The month-long crime spree took place between August 9 and September 8 and resulted in the theft of £120,000.
In the early stages of the investigation Dorkin was identified by Flying Squad detectives after he was captured on CCTV at two of the crime scenes, wearing the same T-shirt decorated with the wording ‘Seasoned Offender’.
The gang was eventually arrested on September 8 after triggering an explosion at the Shell petrol station on North Orbital Road in Denham.
Speaking after the convictions detective inspector Mark Bedford of the Met Police said: “This crime network caused a series of large explosions in petrol stations and it was by sheer luck that no unsuspecting members of the public were injured as they passed by.
“There has been substantial inconvenience caused to local communities who rely on the services of the ATMs and also extensive damage to small business properties estimated to be in excess of £200,000.”
Police advise anyone who witnesses a cash machine interference, to remain a safe distance away from the ATM and call 999.