Adam Bannister

Editor, IFSEC Global

Author Bio ▼

Adam Bannister is editor of IFSEC Global. A former managing editor at Dynamis Online Media Group, he has been at the helm of the UK's leading fire and security publication since 2014.
March 8, 2019

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WATCH: The machete-wielding gang aided by a G4S employee

A 20-year sentence given to a G4S employee for aiding three cash-in-transit robberies has been welcomed by the British Security Industry Association (BSIA).

One of six men imprisoned for the conspiracy, Thomas Keane was sentenced to 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit robbery.

Arrests were made as part of Operation Riptide, a Greater Manchester Police investigation into several ATM replenishment robberies in across Greater Manchester between September 2017 and April 2018.

The video below, courtesy of Greater Manchester Police, shows footage from the three robberies.

 

Santander banks in Walkden and Ramsbottom and a NatWest branch in Manchester were all targeted using the same method. The gang targeted the guard delivering cash as they walked between the G4S vehicle and premises. Stolen vehicles with false numberplates were used.

In the first robbery, Keane and his colleague were approached by three masked men and threatened with a sawn off shotgun, handgun and machete. The guards were forced to the floor and the men fled the scene with stolen cash in a red Mini Cooper.

Supplied information

But evidence emerged that Keane was not a victim of the robbery but in fact complicit. The court was told how he had supplied information to his criminal associates about cash delivery times and locations, receiving a cut of the stolen cash in return.

The conspiracy ran into trouble when the getaway car lost control and the offenders had to flee on foot. Witnesses reported seeing two men running from the vehicle, carrying the stolen cash cassettes, and two men hiding under a parked car.

Police identified some culprits by their fingerprints following forensic testing, while others were identified in CCTV footage, vehicle enquiries and phone records in addition to the witness accounts. Keane’s role was uncovered when  phone records showed that Keane was in regular contact with the criminal gang, including on the days the armed robberies took place.

Keane’s fellow conspirators were jailed with sentences of up to 14 years.

The BSIA’s intelligence-sharing initiative, SaferCash, collaborated with the GMP and G4S throughout the investigation.

“Keane abused his position of trust at G4S and lined his pockets through deceit.” Detective Sergeant Rick Castley, Serious Organised Crime Group, Greater Manchester Police

Detective Sergeant Rick Castley, from GMP’s Serious Organised Crime Group, said: “The lengthy sentences handed down today reflect the very serious nature of the crimes committed by this group.

“The robberies were particularly violent in nature, and the men gave no thought to the honest and hard-working security guards and bank staff who were caught up in the incidents. The robberies were pre-planned and carefully considered, but they were clumsily executed and the gang left a trail of evidence linking them to the robberies.

“Keane abused his position of trust at G4S and lined his pockets through deceit, but now he must face the next 20 years in jail facing the consequences of his actions. During this investigation we worked closely with G4S and they have been incredibly helpful in assisting with our enquiries throughout.

“Today’s result is thanks to the efforts of our officers who carried out extensive enquiries and sifted through huge amounts of mobile phone data and records to gather the damning evidence which has secured the prosecutions and taken this group of dangerous men off the streets.”

Sarah Staff, head of SaferCash, the initiative run by the British Security Industry Association, said: “Throughout this case SaferCash worked in partnership with the investigation team and G4S and the outcome of this case highlights the benefits of collaboration.

“The level of violence being used in the execution of these crimes has a far-reaching effect for the guards involved. The comprehensive investigation run by GMP Serious Organised Crime Group has dismantled a well organised gang and the high sentencing reflects the serious nature of this conspiracy.

“The industry strongly believes that the length of sentencing will act as a deterrent to put a halt to these types of attacks.”

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