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Three men convicted of blowing up cash machines

John Wood ·
police tape

Three men have been convicted for blowing up cash machines across across south-east England, including several attacks on forecourts. In total they stole £150,000.

Ermias Fekade, Joel Spears and Stephen Fahri will face sentence next month for their parts in the raids, which took place in a three-month period between January and March 2017.

Fekade, of Hove, and Spears, of Wandsworth, had denied their involvement but were convicted of conspiracy to cause explosions and conspiracy to steal by a jury following a trial at Croydon Crown Court. Fahri, of Greenwich, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and conspiracy to commit criminal damage at an earlier hearing.

The men targeted seven cash machines at sites including petrol stations, post offices and a train station. All the offences took place in the early hours of the morning.

The sites attacked included an Esso garage in Bromley, Kent, on 2 February 2017, where around £23,000 was stolen, a second Esso garage in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, on 10 February 2017, where around £10,000 was stolen, and a Texaco garage in Reigate, Surrey, on 21 February 2017 when £440 was stolen.

In the final incident, a device left by a machine at a post office in Southborough, Kent, on 20 April 2017 failed to explode and the thieves fled the scene. The defendants were arrested nearby following a car crash.

Katie Samways, a senior crown prosecutor with CPS South-East, said: “These men committed a series of dangerous offences which put members of the public in clear danger.

“The CPS worked closely with the police to build a compelling case against these defendants with key evidence including forensics and mobile phone data.

“In total £150,000 worth of cash was stolen and the damage to property amounted to a similar figure.”

The men are due to be sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on April 16.

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