A thief who targeted a range of ATMs across Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, including one in Harrogate, has been jailed for 11 years.
24 year old George Tunney, originally from Doncaster but currently in prison in Hull, was behind the attack on the cash machine at the Co-op in Starbeck back in March 2020.
Tunney was charged with conspiracy to cause explosions, conspiracy to burgle, theft and handling stolen goods following the range of offences committed in January and March 2020 which were all caught on CCTV and showed him using stolen vehicles.
He began the spate of attacks back in January 2020, firstly targeting three ATMs on 6 January including Cantley Post Office near Doncaster, Barclays Bank at Lakeside, Doncaster and Barclays Bank in Hessle near Hull. Following this on 7 January, he attempted again at the Coop on Dysart Road, Grantham and the Post Office in Mansfield. Tunney was unsuccessful in accessing any cash but caused several thousands of pounds worth of damage to the business owners.
On 10 January, Tunney targeted Spaceways Service Station in Nether Poppleton near York. He again caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and this time stole over £57,000 in cash from the ATM.
In a second spate of attempt thefts in March, Tunney targeted The Post Office in Shepshed, Leicestershire, the Jet garage in Adwick near Doncaster and an ATM at the Coop in Starbeck near Harrogate. One of these attempts saw Tunney steal over £35,000 in cash.
Around 2am on 10 March, a few days after the second spate of attacks, North Yorkshire Police officers spotted one of the stolen vehicles near York. The vehicle took off at speed as officers followed it with the pursuit continuing for some distance. The vehicle then drove the wrong way round a roundabout before travelling along the wrong side of the A64 dual carriageway and shortly after was seen to crash into the car park barriers at the McArthur Glen York Designer Outlet.
Officers began searching the area with no gain until the NPAS helicopter spotted a heat source close to the River Ouse. Upon investigating more closely, officers located the suspects hiding in a tree trunk and they were subsequently arrested.
Tunney plead guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, plus banned from driving for 8 years.
Detective Superintendent Fran Naughton, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
“The sentence given to Tunney today is a clear demonstration that this type of crime will not be tolerated. Not only did Tunney and his associates endanger many lives through the dangerous use of explosives, some of which were deployed at fuel forecourts, they caused well in excess of £60,000 damage to a number of businesses.
“These businesses provide essential local services to their communities and many were out of use for extended periods of time whilst repairs were made.
“This has been an extensive investigation, supported through SaferCash and the companies affected by these crimes with many lines of enquiry progressed to ensure these offenders face the consequences of their actions. I would like to thank everyone who played a role in securing a successful outcome for this case.”
In November 2020, a Norfolk man and a teenager from Doncaster were charged with conspiracy to cause explosions, conspiracy to commit burglaries and aggravated vehicle taking following their part in the March spate of attacks with Tunney.