A GANG that targeted cash machines in post officers, shops and garages across Cheshire and Merseyside has been jailed.

Merseyside Police welcomed the sentencing of six men on February 5 to a total of more than 20 years imprisonment in relation to a series of ATM burglary offences across Merseyside and Cheshire.

Between January 7 and July 11, 2017, there were a number of offences in the Liverpool, Wirral and Cheshire areas.

In each of the offences the offenders had, in the early hours of the morning, targeted commercial premises such as post offices, convenience stores and service stations that contain an ATM.

The gang arrived at the scenes in high powered vehicles, often Audi or Mercedes cars with cloned number plates, forced entry to the premises and attacked the ATM in order to steal the cash contained inside.

The gang also rented an industrial premises in Birkenhead where they stored equipment, stolen cars and weapons.

In total the gang pleaded to seven offences and were sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court.

David O'Brien, 35, of Fincham Close, Huyton was sentenced to five years and five months for conspiracy to commit burglary.

Stephen Roberts, 38, of Wilson Road, Prescot was sentenced to five years and five months for conspiracy to commit burglary.

Les McStein, 34, of Oxford Road, Egremont, was sentenced to six years for conspiracy to commit burglary.

Craig Dobbins, 36, of Airdale Close, Beechwood was sentenced three years and six months for conspiracy to commit burglary.

Craig Brennan, 33, of Farmfield Drive, Beechwood, Wirral, was sentenced to 10 months for attempted burglary of a commercial premises.

John Huntington, 21, of Ganneys Meadow Road, Woodchurch, Wirral, was given a two year suspended sentence and 175 hours community order for conspiracy to commit burglary.

Detective Inspector Mike Dalton said: “I am delighted that we have managed to put this gang behind bars for a number of serious offences.

“These are not victimless crimes. These individuals have, when confronted by police officers or members of the public, used violence to ensure they were not detained.

“They have pre-armed themselves with bricks and when confronted by police officers thrown them at police vehicles to facilitate their escape.

Vehicles and tools kept in an industrial unit

“On one occasion they assaulted a member of the public who was simply passing by. The victim received ten stitches to a laceration to his hand caused by a knife and also a broken nose.

“Thankfully they are now behind bars where they belong.”