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Railway ticket machine thefts in court

PUBLISHED: 14:11 18 August 2010 | UPDATED: 15:42 18 August 2010

Railway ticket machines

Railway ticket machines

Archant

A gang of thieves pocketed thousands of pounds by chaining railway ticket machines to the back of a stolen minibus and ripping them out of the ground, a court heard.

Deserted stations in North Kent and parts of South East owned by the South Eastern Train Company were targeted, jurors heard at Southwark Crown Court on Tuesday.

John Cloke, 25, of no fixed address is standing trial accused of a conspiracy to steal between December 1 and December 21, 2008.

Aaron Dhillon, 21, of MacKensie Way, Gravesend, David Ferne, 20, of Thong Lane, Gravesend, Daniel Silvester, 21, of Gregorys Crescent, Gravesend and Rowan Hill, 20 of Ealing all admitted their part in the plot Prosecutor Roger Smart told the court: “In each of the reported incidents the methods deployed to steal these ticket vending machines were the same. It involved wrapping a canvas strap or metal chain around the body of the machine, securing the other end of the strap or chain to the rear of a motor vehicle which was then driven away from the machine to pull it free from its foundations, tip it over or break it open so that the money contained within could be taken.”

CCTV footage showed the group driving into unmanned car parks and attacking the machines in a blue minibus.On December 19, 2008, the thieves targeted machines Longfield Railway Station, West Malling Station and Sole Street station.The minibus was used to tear the machines from the ground and a Ford Fiesta, driven by Dhillon was used to collect the money from the vandalised machines.

Dhillon was arrested by police after his car was identified on December 22, 2008. The trial continues.

Railway ticket machine thieves ‘pocketed thousands of pounds’

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