Doncaster teen jailed after blowing up cash machines and escaping with £35,000

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A Doncaster teenager who escaped with £35,000 after blowing up cash machines and leading police on a high speed chase has been jailed.

The 16-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons and his 38-year-old accomplice from Norfolk were jailed after being found guilty at York Crown Court.

The court heard how Frederick Levi Squires of Swaffham teamed up with the Doncaster teenager to target ATM machines across Yorkshire and Leicestershire whilst driving a stolen vehicle.

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Squires was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison and was disqualified from driving for seven years and three months and the 16 year-old received a two year detention and training order.

Squires and a Doncaster teenager were jailed after targeting cash machines.Squires and a Doncaster teenager were jailed after targeting cash machines.
Squires and a Doncaster teenager were jailed after targeting cash machines.

Both men were charged with conspiracy to commit burglaries and conspiracy to cause explosions and Squires was also charged with aggravated vehicle taking. The offences committed in March this year were all caught on CCTV and showed them driving the stolen vehicle under cloned registration plates.

The Post Office in Shepshed, Leicestershire was the first to be targeted around 12.30am on 4 March 2020, where the men pumped gas into the ATM and lit a fuse to cause an explosion.

This attempt was unsuccessful so they moved on to the Jet garage in Adwick near Doncaster around 3.15am that same day.

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The same tactics were used here and this time resulted in the theft of £35,130 in cash cassettes. They then targeted a third ATM at the Coop in Starbeck near Harrogate shortly after 1am on 6 March 2020. This attempt was unsuccessful.

Around 2am on 10 March, a few days after the attacks, North Yorkshire Police officers spotted the stolen vehicle near York. The vehicle took off at high speed as officers followed it with the pursuit continuing for some distance at speeds of over 100mph. The vehicle then drove the wrong way round a roundabout before travelling along the wrong side of the A64 dual carriageway and shortly after was seen to crash into the car park barriers at the McArthur Glen York Designer Outlet.

Officers began searching the area with no gain until the NPAS helicopter spotted a heat source close to the River Ouse. Upon investigating more closely, officers located the suspects hiding in a tree trunk and they were subsequently arrested.

Squires pleaded guilty to all charges and the 16 year old youth was found guilty following trial. A third man who cannot currently be named for legal reasons, plead guilty to all charges but will be sentenced at a later date.

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North Yorkshire Police Detective Superintendent, Fran Naughton, said: “The sentences given to these two individuals today are a clear demonstration that this type of crime will not be tolerated, either in North Yorkshire or across the country.

"Setting off an explosion inside an ATM is extremely dangerous, particularly one on a fuel station forecourt, and showed no regard for the safety of local residents in the properties nearby.

"The attacks also caused extensive damage to the businesses targeted and meant these vital local services were unavailable for the community whilst being repaired.

“Added to all of this are the highly irresponsible actions of the driver as they fled from the police, endangering the lives of many road users and causing further damage.

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“This has been an extensive investigation, supported through SaferCash and the companies affected by these crimes with many lines of enquiry progressed to ensure these offenders face the consequences of their actions. I would like to thank everyone who played a role in securing a successful outcome for this case.”

Sarah Staff, Head of SaferCash, the security initiative hosted by the British Security Industry Association, said: “This series of ATM attacks were potentially extremely dangerous to the public and had a significant impact on local communities that rely upon these services and their access to cash. Through our industry partnership, SaferCash was able to support the subsequent Police investigation, Operation Glass, which demonstrates how collaboration between the Police and the Industry can successfully tackle this area of crime.

“The outcome of today’s sentences will be a strong deterrent to those involved in similar offending, well done to everyone involved in this investigation.”