Gang jailed over con at Midland supermarket ATMs

Three Romanian men have been jailed after being caught with more than £700 in bank notes, which they stole by jamming supermarket cash machines in Staffordshire and the Black Country.

The Asda store in Avon Road, Cannock
The Asda store in Avon Road, Cannock

The gang were yesterday sent to prison over the ‘sophisticated’ enterprise that involved them attaching a metal device to ATMs in Cannock and Smethwick.

The con was designed to make users think the cash they had asked for hadn’t come out of the machine.

When the customers walked away thinking the machine was faulty, the men then moved in to remove the device and any money that came out.

They were jailed for between eight and nine months each and it is unlikely they will be deported once released as deportation orders are made where the person is jailed for two years or more – or for 12 months for a sex, drugs or violent offences.

Mr Neil Ahjua, prosecuting, told Staffordshire Crown Court that it was a group enterprise.

Stefan Barut, aged 23, Florin Pavel, aged 25, and Ioan Huja, aged 26, all pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to steal.

They were caught with £740 after investigations into complaints at Asda stores in Cape Hill, Smethwick, and in Avon Road, Cannock, after the cash machines showed ‘fault’ messages.

“Certain quantities of cash were recovered after being found in the possession of two of the defendants.

“This case involves a conspiracy to steal funds from automated cash machines by the attachment of equipment in an attempt to trap cash when a customer came along.

“There were two incidents on January 21,” Mr Ahjua told the court.

He said staff at the Cape Hill store received reports that a device had been attached to the machine. Checks of closed circuit television images showed the Peugeot car that the three men, of no fixed address, were later spotted in had been at the premises.

Mr Ahjua said problems were also reported at the Cannock store shortly before 6pm when the cash machine displayed an ‘out of order’ message. Further CCTV checks showed that minutes later Huja and Pavel had been standing near the machine and cash had been trapped in it.

The police were called and the group were found in the vehicle on a car park nearby. Huja, aged 26, had £590 on his person while Barut, aged 23, had £250. The money was in £10 and £20 notes.

Addresses and postcodes for Asda, Tesco and Sainsburys stores across the country were also found on a sat nav discovered in the car.

Miss Amanda O’mara, defending, Pavel and Barut, a nurse, said: “Stealing from cash machines is a serious offence. Each of these men have been in custody since they were arrested.”

Mr Recorder Timothy Raggatt QC jailed Barut for eight months. Pavel and Huja were jailed for nine months. They all must serve half the terms before being released on licence.

Home Office spokesman Simon Alford said:”We will seek to deport people who break our laws. In 2013, we removed more than 4,500 foreign national offenders.

“EU citizens who commit crimes or abuse their right to be in the UK are liable to be removed and can be prevented from returning for up to ten years.”

Comments for: "Gang jailed over con at Midland supermarket ATMs "

charlie17

It should not be necessary to SEEK to deport any offender who was not born in this country it should be automatic and appeals should be made only after they have been returned home and not using legal aid which the law abiding majority pay for in their taxes

Beltane

So, why are they still in this country and no doubts claiming every handout going at the cost of the taxpayer? We've got enough of our own freeloading scumbags without importing more, send em back where they came from!

paul62

Yet more foreign criminals coming to our shores. Why is deportation not automatic for these people? Furthermore, why are these people being allowed to serve their sentences in nice UK prisons, with 3 meals a day, at a cost to the British taxpayer of 10's of thousands of pounds a year? As Romania is part of Europe, why the hell are they not being deported back to their own country to serve their sentence?

Johneboywolves

A few things that really puzzle me and also make me pretty angry:-

1. Why should we let anyone into this country if they haven't got a written job offer? Unemployment is high enough as it is.

2. Why should we let anyone in if they can't provide proof that they have a fixed abode when they get here? Why allow anyone in if it's obvious they are effectively homeless?

3. If they aren't claiming benefits and have no paid work then what are they doing for money? Maybe we should insist on providing proof that they have access to sufficient funds as they attempt to enter the country?

4. Why imprison them here when they it's easier and cheaper to return them to their own country?

I'm flabbergasted that even though our country is in deep debt, the mandarins in London and our European cousins concoct ridiculous laws that will obviously cause massive issues.

I despair.

middley

Agree with above comments, however when I posted comments on here regarding the latest influx of Eastern Europeans coming here which where months ago, I was accused of being racist, Higher unemployment, higher crime rates, bigger draws on the National health were an obvious ending to all this. We need to shut the doors now. Most of the Eastern European countries operate in gangs and they are bringing that culture here with them. Great Britain must be no ARE the biggest suckers in the developed world ! The next trick for the government is to squeeze the housing benefit so low that immigrants will not be able to afford or be kept to rent in London, they don't want em down there, so they will be sent north for cheaper rents, watch this space

Graham

Middley I don't think you are racist I believe you have posted what many people believe to be true. I was in Poland last year and our guide said she found it amusing that many of their riff raff ( her words) go to the UK which helps get rid of a problem in their land, she thought it ludicrous that a country provides houses and money and all you have to do is turn up.

sallybuchanan8

Eight months, out after around three, bet they won't do that again.......