A gang who targeted ATM cash machines and a G4S security van in South Devon have been sentenced to a total of 48 years in prison.
Eight men, including a father and his two sons, were all found guilty of having played a part in a series of raids which sparked a huge police investigation.
Robin Vaughan Senior, 44, of Liverpool, was sentenced to fourteen and a half years to run concurrent to the ten year sentence he is currently serving for similar offences in Scotland.
Robin Vaughan Junior, aged 27, from Lyme Grove, Liverpool, was jailed for ten years.
Johnny Vaughan, aged 21, from Lyme Grove, Liverpool, was sentenced to seven years and one month.
Peter Atkinson, aged 17, of Prescott, Liverpool, received three years and eight months.
Joseph Field, 35, from Willow Grove in Warrington, was handed four and a half years.
Ian Harris, 36, from Torquay, was jailed for three years and seven months.
James Brewer, 36, of Brookwood Road, Liverpool, was given four years and eight months in prison.
Frederick Pearce, aged 53, of Torquay, pleaded guilty to burglary and is to be sentenced next week.
Robin Vaughan Senior, Robin Vaughan Junior, Johnny Vaughan and Joseph Field were indicted for the conspiracy to cause an explosion offences as part of their attempts rip out a free-standing ATM cash machine from a shop in Dartmouth.
Gang members targeted the Coop store on 23rd April 2016, smashing windows to gain entry. They tied a band to the machine and used a 4×4 vehicle to attempt to drag out the ATM from within the shop. This attempt failed when the tow bar of the vehicle used broke off.
Four members of the gang were involved in other offences including using explosives in failed attempts to obtain cash from several ‘hole-in-the-wall’ ATM machines in Torquay.
On Monday 7 December 2015, a Natwest ATM on Newton Road, Torquay, was targeted and an attempted explosion was made. The explosion was unsuccessful and the attempt theft of money failed.
The following day, Tuesday 8 December 2015, a Barclays Bank ATM on Fore Street in Torquay was targeted. An explosion occurred and entry was gained to the bank, again, no cash was taken and a substantial amount of damage was caused.
On 18th of May 2016, a G4S security van officer, who was transporting money from a bank in Brixham town centre, was attacked with a hammer by two men who stole £11,440 before making off in a vehicle driven by the third man. Robin Vaughan Junior, Johnny Vaughan, Peter Atkinson and Frederick Pearce pleaded guilty to robbery.
On 31st May 2016, gang members were involved in another attempted ATM drag-out at the Coop store at Cherrybrook in Paignton. Again, the gang used a vehicle to attempt pull an ATM machine out of the ground from the shop. This failed and they left empty handed.
In June 2016, officers discovered that some of the gang had been staying at a rented property on Denbury Road in Ogwell, which was believed to have been used as the gang’s ‘centre of operations’. Detectives closed in on the group and several arrests followed.
Detective Inspector Kay Chapman said: “Operation Agua was the investigation into three significant conspiracies, ATM explosions, ATM drag-outs and a robbery with a weapon.
“They were a determined prolific gang mainly from out of force who thought South Devon would be an easy target. They initially targeted ATM’s then moved onto the G4S robbery
“We welcome today’s sentence. A significant amount of work went into this complex investigation in order to bring the offenders to court. The tenacious investigation by Torbay CID was in-depth and supported by the prosecution teams.
“I thank all of the victims and witnesses for their co-operation, patience and support. One of these incidents caused significant traumatic impact to one of the security guards and we hope today’s sentencing shows that justice has been done.”
Source:: Devon and Cornwall Police News