Two men have been found guilty of blowing up a cashpoint at Bexhill Railway Station during a string of similar offences across Kent and Sussex.
The CPS say Ermias Fekade, 37, and Joel Spears, 31, were both convicted of causing explosions and conspiracy to steal following a trial at Croydon Crown Court. A third defendant, Stephen Fahri, had already pleaded guilty to his role in the thefts prior to the trial.
In total, the gang successfully seven ATMs at garages and post offices between January 31 and March 23 last year. In the final incident, a device left by an ATM at a post office in Southborough on April 20 failed to explode and the thieves fled the scene. The gang were arrested nearby following a car crash.
Around £150,000 were stolen in total, with £5,300 being stolen from the cashpoint in Bexhill.
Katie Samways from the CPS said: “This was a series of dangerous offences putting members of the public who lived in close proximity to the explosions in grave danger.”
“The CPS was able to build a compelling case against these defendant’s using a variety of evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police.”
“This evidence included forensics, mobile phone evidence and complex investigation techniques which ultimately lead to the defendant’s arrests. The common attributes of the offences included the similar early morning timing of the offences, the use of expensive sports cars as mission vehicle’s and all but one of the ATM’s being in post offices or garages.”
“In total £150,000 worth of cash was stolen and similar amount of damage caused over the course of seven offences. Thankfully their eighth and final offence failed.”
The explosion caused extensive damage to the front Bexhill railway station.
Photos by Justin Lycett.