Organised crime group members sentenced to total of 74 years in prison for multiple offences – Thames Valley
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Six members of an organised crime group (OCG) have today (20/5) been sentenced to a total of 74 years in prison after they were convicted of a string of ATM thefts, commercial burglaries and other serious offences across the Thames Valley and the southeast of England.
Jimmy Sheen, aged 37, of Warren Crescent, Oxford, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause an explosion, conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, theft, attempted theft, using criminal property and conspiracy to steal.
He was sentenced to a total of 17 years and four months’ imprisonment.
David Riley, aged 26, of Linkfield Lane, Redhill, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause an explosion, conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, theft and handling stolen goods.
He was jailed for 17 years and three months.
Frenny Green, aged 33, of HMP Bullingdon, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to cause an explosion.
He was sent to prison for ten years and six months.
Shane Harris, aged 32, of Hughes Close, Charlbury, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary.
He was sentenced to three years and four months’ imprisonment.
Jimmy Loveridge, aged 30, formerly of Chertsey Road, Chobham, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, attempted theft, using criminal property and conspiracy to steal.
He was jailed for 14 years and three months.
Paul Smith, aged 30, of Hearmon Close, Yateley, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal and was found guilty by unanimous jury verdict of conspiracy to commit burglary, attempted theft and using criminal property following a trial at Oxford Crown Court, which concluded on 25 March this year.
Smith was subsequently sentenced to a total of 11 years and four months’ imprisonment.
The men were all part of the OCG codenamed Solar, which, over a period of 12 months, wreaked havoc across several counties, targeting ATMs and often using dangerous and violent tactics, such as the use of explosive gases and flammable liquids.
The group also attacked rural locations and other businesses, stealing plant machinery, 4x4 vehicles and tractors in a year-long series of offending.
The bulk of Thames Valley Police’s investigative work involved a series of nearly 60 serious and organised crime offences that took place across the region and was given the name, Operation Jack Knife.
The offences took place in three specific phases between June 2019 and June 2020.
The first series related to multiple attacks on ATMs where some members of the OCG targeted commercial premises at will, causing significant risk to life and damage to property by using gas attacks and explosions to steal cash from the machines.
Subsequently, the OCG, led by Sheen, found their gas attack tactic was not working so they changed their method to ram-raids and drag-out attacks, again causing significant damage to commercial premises.
The group also stole a number of vehicles to facilitate their crimes.
Finally, the group moved to rural crime, targeting the theft of high-value agricultural vehicles and plant.
Committing multiple offences around the Thames Valley and neighbour force areas, their biggest heist involved stealing nearly £400,000 worth of tractors from a location in Cassington in one night.
In addition to these offences was a burglary at the National Horse Racing Museum at Newmarket Racecourse where the group stole high-value trophies, some of which were of historical significance.
These have never been recovered.
On their way to one of their planned offences on 10 June 2020, some of the group were involved in a serious road traffic collision, which resulted in the death of Rocky Broadway.
Loveridge was subsequently jailed for ten years for causing the death of Mr Broadway by dangerous driving.
A number of search warrants were executed as a part of the collision investigation, allowing officers to recover significant evidential material and phones relating to the OCG’s activities.
Following a lengthy investigation, all six men were arrested and charged with multiple offences in April 2021.
Two of the men were located and arrested, while Loveridge and Smith were already in prison following the fatal collision.
Sheen had previously been recalled to prison, while Green was on remand for a separate and unrelated incident.
Following the arrests, the series of ATM thefts ceased immediately.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Aidan Donohoe said: “Jimmy Sheen and this OCG caused great pain to local communities with their outrageous, dangerous and audacious offending.
“This was an OCG that wreaked havoc across both the Thames Valley and surrounding forces.
“Our investigation and these subsequent convictions mean this OCG has been completely dismantled.
“Its members were charged and remanded, and all six were convicted of some of the most serious offences you can imagine.
“They have now been collectively sentenced to a total of 74 years in prison.
“The quality of the casework and the strength of this investigation was such that five of the six defendants pleaded guilty to all matters before trial.
“Removing these individuals from the community has unquestionably prevented further serious offences and there have been almost no further ATM attacks in the Thames Valley.
“What made this investigation all the more remarkable was that it was allocated to a small team of detectives from one local policing area (LPA), namely Cherwell and West Oxfordshire.
“While they did receive some support from other LPAs and departments, the vast majority of this work was shouldered by the small team from Cherwell and West, drawn from priority crime teams and CID.
“I am immensely proud of the work of the entire team, and I hope these convictions and sentences will reassure our communities that we will tirelessly work to disrupt and dismantle serious and organised criminal groups to take them off the streets so they cannot cause harm to anybody else.
“The work of the Force Intelligence Bureau should also not be underestimated.
“The team’s patient and methodical work, in particular our intelligence analyst, was critical to this investigation and provided the foundation that the case was built upon.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank senior crown prosecutor Charles White from the Crown Prosecution Service’s Complex Case Team.
“His consistent support and advice as the investigation progressed was vital to its success.
“Legal counsel Barry McElduff and Robert Forrest acted for the Crown in this case and along with Mr White, they provided expert advice as we prepared for trial and of course during the presentation of the evidence.
“The joint working between these various elements of the criminal justice system was simply exemplary and key to the fantastic result we have achieved.
"Trial judge Mr Justice Gledhill has publicly commended the entire team, and this is greatly appreciated."
Marc Terry, International Managing Director for Cardtronics commented: “This is an excellent result. We would like to congratulate Thames Valley Police for their hard work and diligence in bringing these dangerous criminals to justice.
“Attacks on ATMs deprive local communities and vulnerable groups of access to cash, damaging the local economy and causing huge damage to local businesses and infrastructure.
“We are committed to continued collaboration with police forces across the country to put an end to this type of crime."
As a further development, £18,500 in cash was seized from the Manor Park site, near Kidlington, when search warrants were executed, while working jointly with the Economic Crime Unit (ECU).
The team also recovered £19,500 in cash and approximately £88,000 in other assets, such as high value jewellery and watches, from Sheen’s home address.
The ECU is leading a separate prosecution for Proceeds of Crime Act offences.
Jimmy Sheen, jailed for 17 years and 4 months
David Riley, jailed for 17 years and 3 months
Frenny Green, jailed for 10 and a half years
Shane Harris, jailed for three years and 4 months
Jimmy Loveridge, jailed for 14 years and 3 months
Paul Smith, jailed for 11 years and 4 months
Jimmy Sheen and his OCG committed dozens of offences across the Thames Valley and surrounding areas.
Here, we show some of the offences and reveal our how investigation brought the group to justice.