Seven men have been handed jail sentences for blowing up ATMs at stores across the UK and stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The gang targeted 13 banks and stores, including three Co-ops and a Tesco Express in Scotland, during a year-long crime spree involving “powerful explosives” and stolen cars that were hidden in a lorry.
In total the gang stole £550,000, including £110,000 from four raids in Scotland. They stole £51,000 from an ATM at a Tesco Express in Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire.
The gang’s last attack was on an ATM at a Co-op in Carnoustie in Angus, in which they stole £16,000, in February 2016. Five of the gang were arrested hours later after a suspicious car had been spotted by an off-duty police officer in nearby Arbroath, but Police had been closing in on the gang in the months leading up to the arrests.
Det Supt Alex Dowall told BBC Scotland: “We became aware that the group actually had access to a stolen HGV and they were using high-powered motor cars to commit these crimes.”
The men have been handed jail sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment. They were convicted of conspiracy to cause an explosion and burglary at Liverpool Crown Court.
They also raided ATMs in Sonning Common and Woodstock, Oxfordshire; Alsager and Culcheth, Cheshire; Huyton, Merseyside; Hucclecote, Gloucestershire; Swindon, Wiltshire; and Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.