Court targets ATM robbers’ ill-gotten gains

Police at the scene after the ATM raid at Santander in Cleveleys
Police at the scene after the ATM raid at Santander in Cleveleys

A gang of armed robbers who carried out a terrifying security van robber in Cleveleys – and more across the country – have been ordered to pay back some of their ill-gotten gains.

The Manchester-based criminals, who netted £285,000 in raids in Preston, Lancaster, Cleveleys, Stoke on Trent and Middlesborough, were jailed for a total of 58 years last February after a two-year crime spree.

Gang ringleader Lee Seddon

Gang ringleader Lee Seddon

Armed with machetes and axes they targeted cash-in-transit vans carrying bundles of money for ATM machines.

Ringleader Lee Seddon went on the run after a £70,000 raid at an off-licence in Langcliffe Road, Brookfield, Preston, in June 2013 but was captured after a van he was driving at 80mph was chased through Over Hulton, Bromley Cross, and Bradshaw, by GMP’S crack intercept team and the force helicopter.

On October 10, 2013, members of the gang made off with £52,000 when they stole four boxes from an ATM at Santander, on Victoria Road West, in Cleveleys, using a weapon to threaten
security guards and a circular saw to gain 
access to the cash machine.

In a Proceeds of Crime Act hearing at Preston Crown Court, Seddon, 37, of Snow Hill Road, Bolton, who is serving 13 years and two months, was found to have benefited by £40,828.30 but only had £1,952 of assets, including his car, to pay back.

Stephen Farrell

Stephen Farrell

Accomplice Stephen Farrell, 35, of Mark Avenue, Salford, benefited by £20,800 but only had £1,681.62 of realisable assets to pay back as he serves a 10-year jail term.

Fellow criminals Jordan Wheeldon, 26, of Seaford Road, Salford, is serving five years four months. He was ordered to pay back a token sum of £1 – despite benefiting by £11,000, as was Michael Bond, 32, of Gorsey Avenue, Wythenshawe, who benefited by £17,000.

But both were warned the authorities could come after their assets at a later date.

Det Sgt Mark Riley, of Lancashire Police, said: “After a successful prosecution, a financial investigation has realised their benefits and they’ve been pursued and punished further. “

Another defendant, Philip Fisher, 32, of Bolton will face similar proceedings on September 20.