Banbury area detectives smash organised crime group which raided a town cash machine - gang given a total of 74 years in jail
Six members of the organised crime group (OCG) were sentenced last week to a total of 74 years in prison after they were convicted of a string of ATM thefts, commercial burglaries and other serious offences.
The Banbury raid happened at the Orchard Way post office in the early hours July 15, 2019.
Another of the gang’s raids was at the Co-op in Station Road, Bletchingdon at midnight on May 11, 2020. And they made off with plant from Old Weaveley Farm, Tackley overnight on May 6. The gang was convicted of scores of other offences in Oxfordshire and south east England.
Det Sgt Lorna Briggs said: “Operation Jackknife was a significant investigation into the activities of a major OCG codenamed Solar.
"As a result of the tireless work particularly from a small team of detectives from the Cherwell and West local policing area, these dangerous men are now safely behind bars where they belong.
"This investigation was the result of a tremendous teamwork not only from our detectives in Cherwell and West but also from our Force Intelligence Bureau and the Crown Prosecution Service complex case team.”
Those sentenced were Jimmy Sheen of Oxford, David Riley of Redhill, Frenny Green of HMP Bullingdon, Shane Harris of Charlbury, Jimmy Loveridge of Chobham and Paul Smith of Yateley.
DS Briggs said: "This group wreaked havoc across the Thames Valley and wider southeast region, targeting ATMs with dangerous tactics, including use of explosives and flammable gases and also planning and carrying out thefts and burglaries at rural locations targeting plant farm machinery and high value jewellery, watches and trophies.
“Their ringleader Jimmy Sheen pleaded guilty to conspiring to cause an explosion, conspiracy to commit burglary, burglary, theft, attempted theft using criminal property and conspiracy to steal. Five others… were also convicted of various offences as committed members of this OCG over a period of 12 months between June 2019 And June 2020.
"This gang caused untold damage and harm in our communities, attacking ATMs, stealing plant machinery, 4x4 vehicles and tractors. The offences took place in three specific locations starting with multiple attacks on ATMs, using gas and explosions to attempt to steal cash from the machines.
"Finding that these attacks were not successful at all, the OCG changed their methods to ram raids and so called ‘drag-out’ attacks, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to commercial premises.
"Finally, the group moved to rural crime, targeting the theft of high value agricultural machinery, vehicles and plant, committing multiple offences around the Thames Valley and surrounding areas.”
DS Briggs said the group's biggest heist involved stealing around £400,000 worth of tractors from a location and Cassington, west Oxfordshire in one night.
Following a lengthy investigation all six men were arrested and charged with multiple offences in April last year.
"Our actions have completely dismantled this OCG. Jeremy Sheen and his group caused enormous harm in our local communities in the Thames Valley and surrounding area,” she said.
“This fantastic partnership work has made the cities towns and villages of the Thames Valley a good deal safer. As a result of the tireless work, particularly from a small team of detectors from the Cherwell and West local policing area, these dangerous men are now safely behind bars where they belong.
“Jimmy Sheen and his OCG will be locked away for many years, unable to bring more harm to our communities. We will continue to work tirelessly to dismantle organised crime groups using all the resources available to us. We will continue to police overtly and covertly to stop serious organised criminal activity. And my message is robust – we are committed to keeping our community safe and we will push through anybody who seeks to bring harm and bring them to justice.”
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.
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 June 10, 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.
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.
“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.
“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. 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.”
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.