A gang of six men and one woman who carried out a series of ATM rip-out offences and thefts of high-value vehicles have been jailed for nearly 50 years.

Officers were first called on September 14, 2017 to an attack on a Wilkinson’s store in Woolwich New Road.

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It was established that the suspects had used a recently stolen military-style Land Rover to drive through the shop front and had attached a heavy-duty rope to a standalone ATM.

Once attached, the machine was dragged out of the shop and the contents of the machine were emptied. The Land Rover was later recovered, having been destroyed by fire in Shrewsbury Park.

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Then on November 30 of the same year, police attended Eynsham Drive, to reports of a vehicle embedded in a Co-op shop front and suspects dragging an ATM machine from the store.

The circumstances of this offence appeared to be linked by method and geographical location to the offence in September, and during the course of this offence the suspects stole in excess of £56,000.

The next offence took place on June 10, 2018 at a branch of Londis in Central Avenue.

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A stolen Dodge RAM vehicle was used to ram the shop and entry was gained to the premises but attempts to remove the ATM were unsuccessful.

The Dodge RAM was seen to reverse at speed into the front of the shop before three suspects with balaclavas attached a rope around the ATM machine.

On this occasion, the suspects were unable to force the ATM from the shop but significant damage was caused to the building.

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On Wednesday December 12, 2018, Flying Squad officers, assisted by TSG and police search teams, conducted seven simultaneous search warrants, targeting addresses used by the group, including lock-ups, allotments and safe houses.

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Six members of the OCG were arrested and twelve stolen vehicles were seized.

During the course of the searches, a large quantity of stolen property was recovered, some of which had been stolen less than 24 hours previously during residential burglaries.

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The gang members charged and convicted are:

Carl Fletcher, 30 of Beveridge Court, Saunders Way, pleaded guilty to eight different offences and was sentenced to a total of 15 years’ imprisonment.

Mantas Antulis, 26 of Rose Glen, RM7 pleaded guilty to six offences and was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years’ imprisonment and disqualified from driving.

Steven Akers, 27 of The Oaks, SE18 pleaded guilty to conspiracy to burgle non-residential premises, targeting ATM machines and production of cannabis.

He was sentenced to five-and-a-half years’ imprisonment.

Nicky McKenzie, 38 of Bostall Hill, pleaded guilty to four offences, and was sentenced to seven years and four months' imprisonment.

Sam Hawkins, 31 of Willow Lane pleaded guilty to a total of nine offences and was sentenced to nine years and four months’ imprisonment.

Stacey Bass, 31 of Willow Lane, pleaded guilty to 10 x Vehicle Thefts. Today she was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment.

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Robbie Bennett, 20 of Gannet Lane, Wellingborough, NN8 pleaded guilty to 1 x Vehicle Theft and 2 x Handling Stolen Goods. Today he was sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment.

DC David Crewe from Flying Squad, said: “None of the defendants have shown any remorse for their actions. They were intent on committing well-planned criminality, which has had a significant impact on their victims and the wider communities of south east London.

The resultant reduction in crime in the weeks after the arrests demonstrates how prolific the crime group was. None of the stolen cash has been recovered, which in turn has had a major impact on the cash machine companies and the associated stores that house the machines. I am pleased with the sentences passed and hope this gives some closure to the victims.”