Wigan man jailed for 12 years after ATM blast raid
Investigators are set to launch a hunt for a missing Â£1.4m snatched by a Wigan career criminal and his accomplices from more than 20 cash points across the country.
Thirty-nine year-old Alfie Adams, from Platt Bridge, is beginning a 12-year prison sentence after he took part in a burglary spree targetting automated telling machines over several counties last year.
Three of those ATMs were blown out of their moorings using explosive charges and Adams, along with Charlie Smith, 31, and John Doran, 20, is said to have got away with Â£1.5m.
Hundreds of thousands of pounds in damage is supposed to have been caused to premises including two village Co-op stores in Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire, and a Tesco Express in Hinckley.
Detectives are reported to have seized around Â£100,000 when the gang was arrested for the string of thefts.
But under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) police are entitled to take further action against criminals who profit from such burglaries.
If defendants are found liable for benefitting to the tune of Â£500,000 then they could face additional jail terms of five to seven years, if they cannot repay their debt.
A Leicestershire Police spokesman said: “Money was recovered on arrest and POCA proceedings will take place. We are unable to confirm how money was recovered due to these forthcoming proceedings.”
Court officials in Leicester have confirmed that a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing is scheduled to take place for the trio in early July.Adams, of Miller Lane, Smith and Doran struck at convenience stores, garages and post offices are far afield as South Wales, Staffordshire, Norfolk and the East Midlands.
Police say Adams and his gang had a “blasé attitude” to public safety.
In total the trio confessed to an involvement in 23 break-ins between September and November last year.
Speaking after the case, Det Chief Insp Martin Smalley said: “These three men caused hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to stores across the region, taking a very blasé attitude to their own, and the public’s safety.
“The volatile gas mixtures they used to cause the explosions could have had devastating consequences.”
Officers are now determined to re-coup as much of the stolen cash as possible.