Heavy sentences for cash machine lifters

Three members of a gang who were convicted of using stolen machinery to lift automatic-teller machines (ATMs) with almost 500,000 euros inside received nine-year jail sentences for their innovative criminal techniques, court sources said yesterday. A criminal appeals court in Thessaloniki was told how an 11-member gang used stolen cranes to lift ATMs onto trucks and then carry them to another spot, where they would pry open the machines at their leisure. The 16 cash machines targeted were all freestanding and located in out-of-the-way areas around the country. They netted the gang some 450,000 euros between January and April 2004. Sources said that three other gang members received suspended sentences of between two and seven years, while one member was found not guilty.

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