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Ermias Fekade, Joel Spears and Stephen Fahri face sentence for trying to blow up Southborough cash machine

By KentOnline reporter

Two men have been found guilty of blowing up cash machines and stealing £150,000.

Ermias Fekade, 37, and Joel Spears, 31, were convicted of causing explosions and conspiracy to steal following a trial at Croydon Crown Court.

A third defendant, Stephen Fahri, had already pleaded guilty to his role in the thefts.

Southborough post office in London Road. Picture: Google

In total, seven ATMs across Sussex were successfully targeted at garages, post offices and Bexhill train station between January 31 and March 23 last year.

In the final incident, a device left by an ATM at a post office in Southborough on April 20 failed to explode and the thieves fled the scene.

They were arrested nearby following a car crash.

Following today's hearing, Katie Samways from the Crown Prosecution Service said: "This was a series of dangerous offences putting members of the public who lived in close proximity to the explosions in grave danger.

The hearing took place at Croydon Crown Court.

"The CPS was able to build a compelling case against these defendant’s using a variety of evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police.

"This evidence included forensics, mobile phone evidence and complex investigation techniques which ultimately lead to the defendant’s arrests.

"The common attributes of the offences included the similar early morning timing of the offences, the use of expensive sports cars as mission vehicle’s and all but one of the ATM’s being in post offices or garages.

"In total £150,000 worth of cash was stolen and similar amount of damage caused over the course of seven offences. Thankfully their eighth and final offence failed."

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