Hole in the wall gang

Hole in the wall gang


Hole in the wall gang

It was an attack on a cash machine at a Co-op in Carnoustie in Angus in February 2016 that proved to be the gang's last.

They hauled the ATM out of the wall with a stolen Land Rover before seizing ?16,000 in cash.


Hours after the robbery an off-duty police officer spotted a suspicious car seven miles away in Arbroath.

Hole in the wall gang

Hole in the wall gang

As shocked diners looked on, armed police swooped on the car park at the town's McDonald's.

Five men, all from the Merseyside area, were arrested after the police fired tyre deflation rounds at the gang's Mercedes as they tried to get away.

In the weeks leading up to the arrests, detectives in Scotland and England were already closing in on the gang.

Hole in the wall gang

Hole in the wall gang

It was after an overnight raid on the cash machine at the Co-op in Kingswells, on the outskirts of Aberdeen, in August 2015 that police made a major breakthrough.

CCTV from a nearby industrial estate picked up a rendezvous between a lorry and high-performance car as the gang headed back to England.

Hole in the wall gang

Det Supt Alex Dowall told BBC Scotland: "We became aware that the group actually had access to a stolen HGV and they were using high-powered motor cars to commit these crimes."

The gang had hammocks in the back of the HGV so they could use it as a portable base and additional fuel so they did not need to be seen going to service stations.

The lorry, which was traced to a yard in Wigan, also had gas equipment, power tools and ramps to drive a stolen Audi in and out.

Hole in the wall gang

Hole in the wall gang

Det Supt Dowall said: "They were transporting the Audi within the HGV in order to not draw attention to themselves travelling the length and breadth of the country."

He said the gang were "highly organised" and came up with "pretty ingenious" ways to avoid detection.

"They had even cut out a small area within the outer skin of the HGV covers to allow them access in and out without drawing attention to themselves by opening the rear of the lorry," the detective said.

Hole in the wall gang

The gang's technique for blowing up the ATMs involved running oxy-acetylene canisters directly into the cash machine and igniting the gas with a spark from a car battery.

In total, the robbers stole ?550,000, including ?110,000 from four raids in Scotland.

They raided cash machines in Sonnings Common and Woodstock, Oxfordshire; Alsager and Culcheth, Cheshire; Huyton, Merseyside; Hucclecote, Gloucestershire; Swindon, Wiltshire; Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk; as well as in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Carnoustie, and Perth.

They stole a ?56,000 Audi RS4 from a house in Garthdee, Aberdeen, in May 2015.

A month later they took ?51,000 from a cash machine at a Tesco Express in Newtonhill, Aberdeenshire.

The Kingswells Co-op raid in August resulted in ?16,000 and in January 2016 the gang stole ?27,000 from a Co-op in Perth.

The police said there did not seem to be a pattern to the places targeted in the raids.

They said the techniques they used were extremely risky and it was fortunate no-one was hurt.

The gang and their sentences:



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