A GANG of ram raiders who targeted a village store near Winchester have been jailed for more than 30 years.

Jason Mobey, Jimmy Shea and Les Keet, conspired to steal ATMs across Hampshire, Surrey and Sussex, including Kings Worthy, stealing in excess of £500,000 and causing damage estimated at £900,000 between July and November 2018.

Mobey and Keet, together with Eric Summerfield and Melvyn Beech, also conspired to violently rob a Surrey resident within their home.

The gang used heavy machinery to carry out the attacks before stealing the cash machines at night.

Heavy machinery and getaway vehicles were stolen, generally from near the targets with the gang favouring villages or housing developments. Many of the vehicles stolen were torched to destroy evidence.

The gang’s raids included Tesco Express, at Vale Way, Kings Worthy on November 5 2018 at 4.30am, and Co-op, Hambledon Road, Denmead, on October 3 2018 at 1.30am.

Jason Mobey, 40, of Macdonald Road, Farnham, Surrey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery and was jailed for 10 years, eight months at Hove Crown Court.

Jimmy Shea, 24, of Nursery Road, Alton, admitted conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling). He was jailed for six years.

Les Keet, 29, of Cobbetts Close, Normandy, Surrey, pleaded guilty conspiracy to commit burglary (non-dwelling) and conspiracy to commit robbery and was jailed for eight years.

Eric Summerfield, 63, of Walnut Tree Close, Guildford, admitted conspiracy to commit robbery. He was jailed for three years, four months.

Melvyn Beech, 47, of Kingston Road, Leatherhead pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery. He was jailed for three years, four months.

Mobey, Shea and Keet have also been handed a Serious Crime Prevention Order, to last five years.

The lengthy and complex investigation to identify the men involved in the conspiracies was run by Surrey and Sussex Police’s Serious Organised Crime Unit and involved gathering CCTV evidence, forensic investigations, piecing together a large volume of information provided by members of the public and covert tactics.

After gathering sufficient evidence, 70 officers from Surrey Police with the assistance of Sussex and Hampshire police, conducted pre-dawn raids on December 20 2018. During these searches police recovered clothing, vehicles and lifting/cutting equipment relating to offences.

This gave officers additional evidence to charge the quintet and they all pleaded guilty in April.

The investigation itself was honoured at a national level at the National Commercial Robbery Conference to recognise outstanding work and contribution to combat ATM crime.

Head of Serious Organised Crime for Surrey and Sussex, Detective Superintendent Karen Mizzi said: “The sentences handed down show the seriousness of these crimes. This successful result was due to the teamwork involved and I am grateful to all of the officers involved in bringing these men to justice."

Libby Clark from the CPS said: “These were a series of audacious, but very carefully planned raids, with the defendants stealing the equipment they needed from nearby building sites, so they could then repeatedly ram the ATMs and remove them, before taking them to remote areas to remove the cash from them.

“The impact of these robberies cannot be underestimated. It’s not just about the money they escaped with. In some cases, there were flats above the cash machines and large scale structural damage was caused to a number of the buildings. None of us can imagine the fear that people living in those flats would have experienced during the raid.

“Such was the weight of evidence against the gang that they were left with no option but to plead guilty.”