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Thieves jailed for stealing Rainham, Loughton and South Ockendon ATMs

Eight men have been jailed for a total of 55 years (credit: Essex Police)

Eight men, responsible for cash machine thefts in Rainham, Loughton and South Ockendon, have been sentenced to a total of 55 years.

Walter Mitchell Junior, Shane Stanley, Walter Mitchell Senior, Levi Mitchell, William Mitchell, Sid Clark, Jack Mitchell and Ross Whitford were sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court yesterday.

An investigation, launched by the Serious Crime Directorate, also explored a series of cross border commercial and dwelling burglaries and car thefts.

The numerous incidents were across Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Cambridgeshire, Thames Valley and London. They occurred between 24 March 2018 and 5 March 2019.

Mitchell Junior was found guilty of two counts of conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy to handle stolen goods on Tuesday 17 September. The other eight men previously pleaded guilty to a conspiracy offences at an earlier date.

Scott McManus, 43, of Chapelfields, Stanstead Abbots, was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary on Tuesday 17 September. A jury were unable to reach a decision on conspiracy to handle stolen goods and we agreed to dismiss the case against him.

A 500-page timeline and presentation on the investigation was compiled and presented to the Crown Prosecution Service as evidence on Friday.

Superintendent Andy Waldie, of the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate, said: “These men were highly organised and dangerous, we believed they would put our officers and members of the public at risk of harm and violence in their attempts to escape.

“They were able to get away from scenes quickly, leaving very little forensic opportunities before destroying the stolen vehicles they used.

“Even when the whole ATMs were stolen, sometimes they were able to get away from scenes in under a minute.

“We estimate that theft and damage costing more than a £1million was caused by this group of men over a period of a year.

“The case file involved over 100 investigations including 35 commercial burglaries and burglaries across 14 towns and villages in the eastern region.”

Walter Mitchell Junior, 22, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received eight years custodial for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries, conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries, conspiracy to handle stolen goods and conspiracy to commit theft of motor vehicles;

Shane Stanley, 37, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a nine year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries and conspiracy to handle stolen goods;

Walter Mitchell Senior, 42, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a nine year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries and conspiracy to handle stolen goods;

Levi Mitchell, 35, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a seven year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;

William Mitchell, 30, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, received a seven year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;

Sid Clark, 32, of Broadfield Harlow, received a four year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;

Ross Whitford, 24, of Rock Lane, Hastings, received a four year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries;

Jack Mitchell, 20, of Kingsmoor Road, Harlow, received a seven year custodial sentence for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries.

Tommy Mitchell, 19, of Fern Hill Lane, Harlow, is due to be sentenced on Friday 25 October for conspiracy to commit commercial burglaries, conspiracy to commit dwelling burglaries and conspiracy to handle stolen goods.

The ATM thefts investigated also occurred in Broxbourne, Corringham, West Kingsdown, Gravesend, Epsom, Hutton, Pilgrims Hatch and Redbourn between February and August 2018. They admitted to nine of these.

Marc Terry, International Managing Director for Cardtronics, said: “Let these sentences be a warning for anyone out there contemplating an attack on our Secure ATMs.

“These results show that our Secure ATM initiative is exceptionally effective in helping the police track down, catch and send to jail those who attempt to attack Cardtronics machines.

“Our work does not stop here – we are fighting to protect access to cash across the whole of the UK and will not rest until ATM crime is eradicated and ceases to be a threat to communities and their residents.

“Those considering an attack should think again, as they will be caught and sent to jail for a very long time.”

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