A GANG who stole almost £50,000 from a cash machine after breaking into a convenience store through the roof have been jailed.

Mark Edwards, Sean Devereux, Peter O’Neill and Liam Doherty were sentenced to more than 16 years behind bars in total at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday, Thursday.

Warrington Guardian:

Mark Edwards

The quartet broke into the Nisa Local on Glover Road in Birchwood in the early hours of Thursday, October 3.

Entering the store through the roof, they used an angle grinder to force the ATM open and took nearly £50,000.

Investigations, which involved examining hundreds of hours of CCTV footage, then linked them to similar incidents in Wakefield and Telford in which £5,000 in cash and £14,000 of cigarettes were taken.

A series of raids were then carried out at the homes of the organised crime group, with items seized including angle grinders, expensive clothes, watches, mobiles phones and more than £14,000 in cash.

Detective constable Ian Morris said: "This criminal enterprise went to great lengths to plan and coordinate attacks on cash machines with the intent of gaining significant amounts of cash – the men conducted a number of reconnaissance trips prior to conducting their attacks and travelled great distances in a failed attempt to evade justice.

"The businesses they targeted were recognised as providing important services to our local communities, and the devastation of these incidents should not be underestimated.

"Not only did they cause thousands of pounds worth of damage, but they also had a profound impact on other businesses and residents within the local area."

Forty-seven-year-old Edwards, from Huyton, was jailed for five years while 30-year-old Devereux and 41-year-old O’Neill, both of Liverpool, were imprisoned for four-and-a-half years each.

Warrington Guardian:

Sean Devereux

Thirty-nine-year-old Doherty, also from Liverpool, was sentenced to three years and nine months behind bars.

Warrington Guardian:

Liam Doherty

All four earlier admitted conspiracy to commit burglary with intent to steal.

Detective sergeant Ian Bingley added: "I commend the diligence of DC Morris and PC Gary Howard in pursuing all lines of enquiry to identify them as suspects.

"All four defendants refused to engage with officers during the investigation and denied any involvement.

Warrington Guardian:

Peter O'Neill

"It was down to the tenacity of the investigators on Warrington beat initiative team who secured the evidence to prove beyond doubt their involvement and build the case which led to the guilty pleas.

"Today’s sentences show no matter how many crimes you commit in different areas you cannot avoid being caught – we will relentlessly pursue you until you are captured.

"We are determined to disrupt all levels of serious organised crime within our communities and keep people safe."