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Police: Raiders 'could face life imprisonment' for cash machine explosions
5:41pm Friday 13th September 2013 in News
DETECTIVES are searching three premises today as they step up the hunt for raiders who are targeting cash machines in the region.
The action – led by specialist Matrix officers - comes a day after a machine outside NatWest on Eccleston Street, Prescot was apparently blasted open and raided.
Since the beginning of May there have been six attacks on cash points throughout Merseyside.
Tonight senior detectives warned the culprits could face life imprisonment if charged with recklessly endangering life or conspiracy to commit explosions.
Warrants have been executed at three locations today, though Merseyside Police would not disclose further details because of the fluid nature of the investigation.
Detective Superintendent Chris Green, said: "These incidents are being thoroughly investigated by a dedicated team of specialist Matrix officers.
"There have been similar attacks in other parts of the country and we are working with other Forces to identify if there are any similarities between the incidents.
“If these people are crossing force boundaries to commit these crimes the public can be reassured that we are linked in with other forces and together we are determined to bring these offenders to justice.
“Only two weeks ago a car believed to be involved in two of these incidents was recovered in an industrial premises in Knowsley as part of the ongoing investigation.
“The vehicle is currently undergoing extensive forensic examination in a bid to identify those involved and it has already provided us with some proactive leads.
"We are continuing to use resources available to us such as technology and forensics in our investigations into these attacks.
“Through our enquiries we have gained an understanding of the methods being used by these offenders in the execution of these crimes.
"This type of crime is still rare on Merseyside and these incidents have been opportunistic and have taken place when the banks have been closed and at times when there has been no one around.
“But with that said the actions of these individuals are still dangerous and extremely reckless.
"Those responsible, when caught could face life imprisonment if charged with recklessly endangering life or conspiracy to commit explosions.
"The public are our eyes and ears and if anyone sees anyone acting suspiciously in the vicinity of a bank/ATM we would urge them to contact us, as their information could be vital in bringing these offenders to justice.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Merseyside Police on 0151 777 5687 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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