A man who blew up a series of cash machines, was chased across York by police, crashed his car into a shopping centre and then hid in a tree has been jailed for 11 years.
George Tunney, 25, from Doncaster, was part of a gang who targeted ATMs across Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire.
He admitted conspiracy to cause explosions, conspiracy to burgle, theft and handling stolen goods.
York Crown Court heard the offences were committed in January and March 2020, and were all caught on CCTV and showed him using stolen vehicles.
Tunney used explosives to force open the cash machines.
His most successful raid was at the Co-op Service Station in Nether Poppleton. He caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and stole more than £57,000 in cash from the ATM.
In a second spate of attempted 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.
It 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 National Police helicopter spotted a heat source close to the River Ouse.
There, officers located the suspects hiding in a tree trunk and they were subsequently arrested.
Tunney, who appeared in court from Hull jail, pleaded guilty to all charges and was sentenced to 11 years in prison, plus banned from driving for 8 years.
‘Endanger many lives’
North Yorkshire Police Detective Superintendent, Fran Naughton, 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, Frederick Squires, 38, of Castleacre Road, Swaffham, Norfolk and a 16 year-old from Doncaster were jailed as part of the same investigation.