A FIFTH man has been jailed for three-and-a-half years after a gang of burglars stole £50,000 from an ATM in Warrington.

Offenders broke into the Nisa Local on Glover Road, Birchwood through the roof in the early hours of Thursday, October 3, 2019, before using an angle grinder to force open an ATM and take the cash.

The incident was linked to two similar burglaries in Wakefield and Telford, during which cash and cigarettes were stolen.

Shaun Blackburn, of no fixed abode, appeared at Liverpool Crown Court on August 28, where he was sentenced after admitting conspiracy to commit burglary.

The 37-year-old from Merseyside is the fifth man to be sentenced in relation to the ATM attacks, following the earlier sentencing of Mark Edwards, 47, Sean Devereux, 30, Peter O’Neill, 41, and Liam Doherty, 39, who were jailed for a total of more than 16 years in February.

Following the attack in Warrington, an investigation was launched where hundreds of hours of CCTV footage was viewed.

The team involved found evidence linking the incident to two other ATM attacks in Wakefield and Telford.

Cheshire Police conducted raids in Merseyside in December, leading to the arrests of Edwards, Devereux, O’Neill, and Doherty, as well as the recovery of angle grinders, mobile phones, high value clothing, watches and more than £14,000 in cash.

Blackburn managed to evade officers' initial arrest attempts and was added to the police wanted list.

He was arrested in Merseyside in June after being spotted by officers.

Following his sentencing, Detective Constable Ian Morris, of Warrington Beat Initiative Team said: "Blackburn played a key part in this criminal enterprise and he went to great lengths to plan and coordinate attacks on cash machines with the intent of gaining significant amounts of cash.

"He, along with the rest of the gang, conducted a number of recces 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."

"Detective Sergeant Ian Bingley added: "Blackburn’s sentencing brings to a close what has been an extremely complex investigation and I commend the diligence of DC Morris and PC Howard in pursuing all lines of enquiry to ensure that all those involved in this case have been brought to justice.

"Following the sentencing of Edwards, Devereux, O’Neil and Doherty, Blackburn may have thought that he had evaded justice, but as his sentencing shows, it doesn’t matter where you run or where you hide – 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."

Blackburn also received a further three years and three months in prison for a number of drugs offences in Liverpool, taking his total sentence to six years and nine months.