LONDON: Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused in a number of separate attacks as the gang made £356,330 from eight successful raids at banks, post offices and shops. The robbers would pump the machines with gas which is normally used in welding, producing a high temperature flame of over 3000C before standing around 15 metres away and detonating it. During one attack, debris was blasted 40 metres away and detectives said it was “sheer luck” no one was killed during the gang’s nine month-long crime spree. The destruction caused in the attacks was estimated at around £320,000 when the gang failed to get cash out of 19 further cash machines. The raids took place across west and north London and the South East between June 2014 and April 2015 and in October 2014 they targeted three machines in just over an hour. After targeting 27 cash machines, the gang would break into the premisses to try to get to the back of the machines to grab any cash. In three of the raids member son the public confronted the robbers forcing them to flee without their tools.
Detective Inspector Scott Hartley said: “It was sheer luck that nobody was killed due to the actions of this gang. “They handled an extremely dangerous substance carelessly and with complete disregard for the safety of others. “The level of threat they posed to community safety has been fully reflected in today’s verdicts.” They were eventually tracked down by detectives after Duggan left DNA behind on the inside of the safe door of an ATM in November 2014 after they managed to steal just £30. Duggan and Roswell, both of Ashford, and Collins, of Hayes, all admitted conspiracy to cause explosions likely to endanger life and conspiracy to burgle. Both Duggan and Rodwell were jailed for 12 years each, while Collins was jailed for nine years. Detective Inspector Hartley added: “Given that this series of crimes involved 27 offences, it is fortunate that no unsuspecting members of the public were injured. “In one case, the front fascia of the ATM and other debris was blown 30-40 metres from the scene. “If this debris had struck a member of the public or a passing car, the resulting injuries could easily have been fatal.”