A gang who were behind a “carefully planned” thieving operation from condom vending machines have been sentenced.
Derbyshire Police were alerted to the scam in January this year when the firm that operates the machines reported that cash had been taken from dispensers located in supermarkets and pubs throughout Derbyshire.
However, the culprits were only caught afterbreaking in to a box in the toilets of Morrisons supermarket, Chapel Street, Belper and removing cash.
Following the theft, officers studied CCTV footage from the town and traced a suspicious vehicle back to one of the gang, David Crossin.
He was arrested when police saw the same car driving on the M1 later that month and pulled it over.
Two other men that were in the vehicle at the time were also charged.
Now, the three have been sentenced for their involvement in the thefts during a hearing at Derby Crown Court.
Crossin,39, of Hollam Road, Southsea, received six years in jail.
He was given 42 months for one count of conspiracy to steal, 24 months for a second count of the same offence as well as three months for contempt of court.
Steven Perry,48, of Avenel Way, Poole, Dorset was jailed for a total of 26 months after he was convicted of a charge of conspiracy to steal.
And Mark Bailey,45, of Ampleforth Close, Orpington, was given a three-year community sentence.
He must meet with probation officers as well as carrying out 300 hours of unpaid work.
Following the hearing, police praised the officers involved in securing the convictions.
Detectives carried out a detailed investigation in order to catch the gang.
Derbyshire Police Detective Chief Inspector, Sam Slack, said: “This was a carefully planned crime where a cloned key was used to get into the machines and steal the cash.
“These convictions have been secured thanks to good old-fashioned detective work and support from the vending machine company and staff at the pubs and supermarkets involved.”
The court was told that the three had also raided condom machines at the Hobby Horse pub, Chesterfield as well as the town’s Sainsbury’s supermarket.
In August 2010, defendants Jason Bolton and James Unick were jailed for a year and six months respectively for using skeleton keys to steal the money from 61 condom machines across the Midlands and northern England, including 11 located in Derbyshire.
They were caught in the Premier Inn, at the Wyvern, in Derby, after a condom machine in the hotel’s toilet was found empty – and the pair paid for their overnight stay in pound coins. Police found a total of £4,658 in their room and in a car.
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