Connect with us

News

WATCH: Criminal gang jailed for £600,000 raids including £93,000 Peterborough burglary

Police attributed 17 attacks by the gang on ATMs with more than £600,000 stolen

Avatar photo

Published

on

Two men – one from Spalding and the other from Loughborough – were found by police investigating a major criminal gang to have travelled from Peterborough to Scotland in a Fiat motorhome. Their journey in January 2022, tracked by police who also spotted them returning to the Midlands a few days later, was described this week by police as a “breakthrough” in rounding up the gang.

A special investigation by the East Midlands Special Operations Unit (EMSOU) was joining up the links between the Midlands and Scotland.

Since March 2021, EMSOU had been working with Police Scotland on a series of ATM raids across England, Wales, and Scotland.

Advertisements
Pictures

Since March 2021, police attributed 17 attacks by the gang on ATMs with more than £600,000 in cash stolen and vehicle theft and building damage at a cost upwards of £1 million.

The gang was found to be using two methods of attack, depending upon the type of automated teller. If it were standalone, they would use a stolen van and straps to rip it from the ground.

They would then steal the contents and make off in a stolen high-powered vehicle bearing false registration plates.

For those machines situated in a building, the gang would use a power tools or vehicles to smash through doors, then used a drill and other tools to access the contents of the ATM.

Again, they would flee with the cash in a stolen car on false plates.

Most of those responsible were based in Leicestershire, with key contact in Scotland to enable a number of attacks across the border.

They were coordinated by a core group of three – Patrick Gilheaney, John Smith, and Tali Smith – who then used partners, relatives, and other associates in an ‘on-call’ capacity to ensure the criminal operation ran smoothly.

But then came the breakthrough in January 2022, when Gilheaney and John Smith travelled from Peterborough to Scotland in a Fiat motorhome and returned to the Midlands a few days later.

Also making the same journey was a blue Saab and a stolen grey Audi RS4, both on false registration plates.

During that time, there were four ATM attacks across the central belt of Scotland and latter searches of suspect vehicles linked through ANPR (Automated Number Plate Reader) footage and CCTV – including the Audi, stolen from Merseyside a few months earlier, which was found burnt out in Huntingdon – recovered Scottish bank notes, drills and saws and receipts for items such as face masks, gloves, and dark clothing.

In November 2022, hundreds of officers, and staff from seven forces contributed to the execution of a number of warrants.

Among the significant arrests, items seized included stolen high-powered vehicles and car parts, further high-value vehicles, and motorhomes, more than £30,000 in cash and two imitation firearms.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article

Attempts by the gang to throw officers off the scent, by communicating only with ‘burner’ phones while travelling between attacks, were in vain.

Forensic examination of seized items brought each person into the frame.

Pertinently, Gilheaney’s DNA was found on a crowbar left in a vehicle used in an attack in Loughborough on 15 March 2021 and Tali Smith’s DNA was found on the key to a stolen transit van, used in an attack in Attenborough, Nottinghamshire, in September 2021.

EMSOU Detective Chief Inspector Darren Brown said: “This was a brash but technically skilled organised group, which found strength as a close-knit, omni-competent criminal community, operating under a clear leadership.

“On the face of it, this type of crime may seem victimless, but in attacking ATMs this group have attacked at the very heart of the community.

“Residents were left without a local means of accessing their cash. Many of these attacks also left vital community conveniences, such as Post Offices, petrol stations and ‘corner’ shops out of action while they were repaired.

“And then there’s the associated residential burglaries and thefts of the vehicles used in the crimes.”

He said: “The sentences given today reflect how seriously the criminal justice system views this type of organised offending and the harm it inflicts on society.

“Through some expert investigation and concerted effort, we have also demonstrated the level at which UK policing can collaborate across county and country borders in order to protect our communities.”

The following previously pleaded guilty to a range of offences, all committed between 14 March 2021 and 18 November 2022, and were sentenced at Leicester Crown Court on Friday 10 May 2024.

Jailing the men, His Honour Judge Brown said: “These are serious and organised crimes, and I have a duty to impose substantial sentences.”

He imposed the following sentences:

  • Patrick Gilheaney aged 34 and formerly of Griggs Road in Loughborough: Seven years and six months imprisonment, for conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another.
  • John Smith aged 32 and formerly of Evergreen Close in Spalding, Lincolnshire: Seven years and six months imprisonment, for conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another.
  • Tali Smith aged 34 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: Six years and eight months imprisonment, for conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another.
  • Alfie Boswell aged 32 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: Five years imprisonment for conspiracy to steal and assisting an offender.
  • William Boswell aged 24 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: Three years imprisonment for conspiracy to steal.
  • Sarah Haynes aged 35 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.
  • Victoria Smith aged 35 and formerly of Evergreen Close in Spalding, Lincolnshire: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.
  • Rosie McAllister aged 28 and formerly of Barlestone Road in Bagworth, Leicestershire: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.
  • Francis Gilheaney (aka Kathleen Connors) aged 33 and formerly of Griggs Road in Loughborough: 12 months sentence, suspended for 24 months, for assisting an offender.

Gordon McPhee, aged 37 and formerly of Peters Lane in Pumpherston, Edinburgh, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit a non-dwelling burglary with intent to steal and conspiracy to steal from another after a trial in February. He was sentenced to six years.

While little of the cash stolen during these raids was recovered by police, EMSOU will now pursue the gang under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to establish how much they made from their criminality and seek court orders to re-coop.

While little of the cash stolen during these raids was recovered by police, EMSOU will now pursue the gang under the Proceeds of Crime Act, to establish how much they made from their criminality and seek court orders to recover it from them so it can be reinvested into community safety initiatives.

 

Date Location Theft or Burglary
  1. 15 March 2021
Loughborough Burglary £600
  1. 24 August 2021
Carronshore, Scotland Burglary £120,000
  1. 4 September 2021
Attenborough, Notts Theft £53,630
  1. 22 November 2021
Bo’ness, Scotland Theft £37,670
  1. 24 November 2021
Milngavie, Scotland Theft £37,660
  1. 25 November 2021
Wester Dechmont, Scotland Burglary £18,550
  1. 1 December 2021
Peterborough Burglary £93,390
  1. 8 December 2021
Wolverhampton Theft £41,430
  1. 17 December 2021
Luton Theft £7,130
  1. 17 December 2021
Worcester Theft £0*
  1. 24 January 2022
Dorchester Theft £38,400
  1. 30 January 2022
Milngavie, Scotland Theft £0*
  1. 30 January 2022
Ayr, Scotland Theft £44,670
  1. 31 January 2022
Motherwell, Scotland Theft £123,970
  1. 1 February 2022
Livingston, Scotland Burglary £0*
  1. 6 October 2022
East Midlands Parkway Theft £0*
  1. 7 October 2022
Southampton Theft £35,510
Total   £652,610

*In those cases where no cash was stolen, the attackers were either disturbed, unsuccessful in gaining entry to the ATM or the ATM was empty.

Facebook

Read More

Tímea Kovács, a photographer working on a documentary photo project with Camp Beagle took these photos of Louise Ryan and her wheelchair protest. Tímea Kovács, a photographer working on a documentary photo project with Camp Beagle took these photos of Louise Ryan and her wheelchair protest.
News3 hours ago

Gleeful look in her eyes as wheelchair activist spray paints sign outside Cambridgeshire ‘puppy factory’

American owned MBR Acres runs Britain’s largest puppy factory at Wyton, Cambs

‘No more gambling shops - it is time to stop the rot and take back control of our city centre,’ says Andrew Pakes, Labour candidate for Peterborough at the General Election. Above: Part of our journey through the city spotting betting shops and slot arcades. PHOTO: Terry Harris ‘No more gambling shops - it is time to stop the rot and take back control of our city centre,’ says Andrew Pakes, Labour candidate for Peterborough at the General Election. Above: Part of our journey through the city spotting betting shops and slot arcades. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News6 hours ago

Peterborough – the undisputed gambling capital of Cambridgeshire

Peterborough has a population of 183,000 with 40 betting shops and arcades

A snapshot of the horror that awaited RSPCA and council officials when they visited the Wardy Hill near Ely home of Jackie Draper A snapshot of the horror that awaited RSPCA and council officials when they visited the Wardy Hill near Ely home of Jackie Draper
News2 days ago

Greedy Cambridgeshire breeder crams 44 dogs into her house of horrors

Cruel breeder's actions 'deliberate, pre-planned, premeditated and motivated by profit'

News2 days ago

OPINION: We can’t afford another five years of the Conservatives doing Peterborough down

'This is our chance to build a better Britain, and a better Peterborough'

Luton councillor Javeria Hussain has been confirmed as Labour’s choice to fight the forthcoming General Election in NE Cambridgeshire. She met the NE Cambs Labour team over the weekend Luton councillor Javeria Hussain has been confirmed as Labour’s choice to fight the forthcoming General Election in NE Cambridgeshire. She met the NE Cambs Labour team over the weekend
News2 days ago

Labour picks Javeria Hussain as candidate for NE Cambridgeshire

She stood as a Labour MEP candidate for the East of England in 2019

Ian Sollom is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire Ian Sollom is the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary candidate for St Neots and Mid Cambridgeshire
News2 days ago

OPINION: The Conservative party are simply unfit to run our NHS

Patients should be able to see their GP when they need to

The new Wisbech Free school will be run by the Brooke Weston Trust, which also runs the Thomas Clarkson Academy (above), and is expected to be fully operational by 2026. The new Wisbech Free school will be run by the Brooke Weston Trust, which also runs the Thomas Clarkson Academy (above), and is expected to be fully operational by 2026.
News2 days ago

Students spared 40 mile round trip commute after agreement reached to fund Wisbech Free school

The new school will be run by the Brooke Weston Trust

Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston with amnesty weapons at Parkside police station Cambridge (left) and Thorpe Wood police station (right) Police and Crime Commissioner Darryl Preston with amnesty weapons at Parkside police station Cambridge (left) and Thorpe Wood police station (right)
News2 days ago

Swords and machetes among 150 weapons surrendered during Cambridgeshire amnesty

Maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is four years in prison

News3 days ago

Labour selects Luton councillor for NE Cambridgeshire General Election battle

Cllr Hussain is a director of London Luton Airport Ltd

Jesus Green Lock footbridge (above) has reopened, to the delight of residents and Cambridge Beer festival goers. PHOTO: Camcycle Jesus Green Lock footbridge (above) has reopened, to the delight of residents and Cambridge Beer festival goers. PHOTO: Camcycle
News3 days ago

Council gives green light to walk over water as Jesus Green Lock footbridge re-opens

Baits Bite Lock footbridge, Cambridge, will remain closed