|Ealing Cash Machine Thefts: 3 Men Jailed|
Elderly and vulnerable targeted by group
Three men who targeted the elderly and vulnerable and stole thousands from cash machines have been jailed for nearly five and a half years.
The group managed to distract their victims, stole cards and tried to use them in other ATM's in Ealing.
The operation, led by PC Graeme Finlay from Ealing Broadway Safer Neighbourhood Team, resulted in four arrests.
Abdul Malik, 20, Abbas Monier, 30, Khader Bouabdallah, 19, and 18 year old Hatab Bouabdallah, all from East London, were charged in connection with 11 cash machine thefts.
18 year old Hatab Bouabdallah was tried as juvenile and received a 12 month supervision order and was ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.
During the investigation, officers worked closely with local organisations including residential Focus Group, BID (Business Improvement District), Ealing Broadway Shopping Centre as well as the local banks. StoreNet radios were provided by the BID to enable bank employees to communicate with each other as well as with the police and other partnership agencies to report any suspicious activity.
PC Finlay said:
"My colleagues and I are very pleased that we were able to catch those responsible and bring them to justice. I believe the sentences given will be seen as a sufficient deterrent and send a strong message to all those who seek to engage in this type of criminal activity.''
Since the investigation Barclays Bank has introduced “safe boxes” pavement markings, to allow the person using the cash machine enough space and privacy whilst carrying out the transaction. To deter any opportunist thieves, local officers have also stepped up patrols around banks, using both plain clothes and high visibility approach.
Police advise anyone using a cash machine to report any suspicious behaviour to the bank staff and police.
November 13, 2009