NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Men convicted of ATM raids in Aberdeenshire jailed for 36 years

Kevin Schruyers and Joseph McHale Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Kevin Schruyers (left) and Joseph McHale were jailed

Thieves who used explosives to blow up cash machines in raids which netted more than £130,000 across Aberdeenshire have been jailed for up to 13 years.

Joseph McHale, 38, Kevin Schruyers, 42, and Robin Vaughan, 43, all from Liverpool, were part of a gang.

Machines in Stonehaven, Inverurie, Aberdeen, New Deer and Ellon were targeted in 2013.

Schruyers was jailed for 13 years, McHale for 12 years and six months, and Vaughan 11 years.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Scott told them they were career criminals.

Previously at the High Court in Glasgow, McHale and Schruyers were convicted of blowing up the cash machine at Scotmid in North Deeside Road, Bieldside, Aberdeen and stealing £112,000.

Image caption A Bieldside store was targeted

They were also found guilty of blowing up an ATM at the Royal Bank of Scotland in New Deer and stealing £21,020.

The pair were also convicted of blowing up four ATMs in Ellon, Stonehaven, Inverurie and Aberdeen and attempting to steal from them, and stealing a quantity of clothing, golf equipment and money from the golf professional shop at the Paul Lawrie Centre in Aberdeenshire.

The duo were also found guilty of attempting to break into a cash machine in Mintlaw by using a crowbar.

Vaughan admitted blowing up the ATM in New Deer and Bieldside. He also admitted trying to force open the ATM in Mintlaw using a crowbar.

'Complex inquiry'

The focus of the investigation moved to Liverpool after a number of Scottish banknotes started to circulate in the Mersey area.

Many had edges cut off in a bid to remove the signs of dye which went on to them.

Others had some red dye on them even though the gang had tried to remove all traces of it.

Ch Insp Graeme Mackie, of Police Scotland, said: "This was a complex police inquiry.

"I would like to commend the effort and work undertaken by all the officers involved in this enquiry and also the public, whose assistance was vital.

"There is no place for serious organised crime in Scotland."

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