A GANG behind a series of attacks on cash machines, including Morrisons in Rednal, have been jailed.

They would tie straps around freestanding ATMs before ripping them out using vehicles they had stolen.

13 vehicles were stolen during the crime spree, which started in March last year, and were used to carry out the series of robberies.

Banks, supermarkets, convenience stores and a college were targeted by the thieves during their three month rampage.

They were responsible for 14 offences during the three months, including targeting a cash machine from the wall at Morrisons in Rednal.

They used sledge hammers and an angle grinder, spending more than 10 minutes trying to break the cash machine free.

Hereford Times:

Main members of the gang: Top L-R: Michael Dunleavy, Lee Barnett. Bottom L-R: Jamie Lambie, Larry Barnett

Detectives got their first break after strapping recovered from one of the scenes was traced to a local supplier.

Similar strapping was sold only two days previously and a trawl of the CCTV lead officers to one of the main gang members.

After months of surveillance work, CCTV, forensics and phone analysis, they were able to bring the gang down.

Earlier this week 11 men were found guilty of a range of offences and sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court.

Seven other men, including Oliver Higgins, aged 33, from Packhorse Lane in Hollywood, will be sentenced for their involvement next month.

Detective Sergeant Martin Kelly, who oversaw the operation, said: “The actions of this gang were shocking. Their behaviour was blatant, often spending long periods of time trying to steal cash machines with no care for the people around them.

"They had no regard for the law and were determined to do what they wanted with no thought about the consequences.

“They also used unnecessary levels of violence towards various security guards and staff members and also rammed a police car head on in an effort to evade us.

“Their crime spree also left a trail of destruction, with damage thought to be in the region of £200,000."

He added: “I hope their lengthy prison time will be of some comfort to those people affected by their wild three-month crime spree."