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CrimeTwo men jailed after spending stolen cash on trips abroad

Two men jailed after spending stolen cash on trips abroad

Two armed men who broke into shops to place explosives under ATM machines, have been put behind bars.

Ben Thompson (36) of Kentworthy Lane, Wythenshawe has been jailed for 20 years, and Wesley Shepherd (40) of Thirsk Avenue, Sale has been jailed for 18 years and eight months.

They both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit robbery and cause explosion likely to endanger property and life at an earlier hearing.

The man would drive stolen cars to their venues of choice before entering three different premises in Greater Manchester and one in Staffordshire, before threatening staff in an attempt to grab cash.

Between April 2023 – July 2023, they stole almost £160,000, and caused tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to the businesses.

Jetting off

After stealing the cash, they were spotted in Manchester Airport, jetting off to Malaga, Egypt, and Mexico.

Their risky business came to an end in September when police caught up with them. After witnessing the men in a car together in Sale, armed police moved in to arrest them.

Shepherd and Thompson ditched the car and ran to evade police, but they discarded a rucksack, in which officers found high visibility vests, gloves, a screwdriver, tape, and a smoke flare.

The duo were arrested shortly after, Thompson (pictured left) on the forecourt of a supermarket in Hulme, and Shepherd (pictured right) at his mum’s house in Northenden.

Diligent investigation

Detective sergeant Rich McCorry from GMP Serious Organised Crime Group said: “These men had no regard for the safety of the public in their endeavour to make some fast cash. This type of behaviour is intolerable and the lasting impact that such an unprovoked attack can have on a victim is huge.

“Following a diligent investigation with specialist colleagues from across Greater Manchester and Staffordshire Police, we were able to link the crimes and now two dangerous, reckless men are behind bars for a long time.”

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