Thieves who stole cash across High Wycombe, Marlow, Amersham and beyond by "trapping" notes at ATMs that unsuspecting victims tried to withdraw have been jailed. 

Sebastian Vizir, 35, and Lucian Martinica, 29, both from Harrow, used a device known as a 'cash trap' to steal funds from several cash machines across England between December 1, 2021, and February 1 this year.

The device was inserted into a cash machine’s dispenser, meaning that when unsuspecting members of the public tried to withdraw money, the notes were trapped inside.

The criminals would then return to the ATM and retrieve the device and the money.

They targeted ATMs in places across north and west London, Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Surrey and Northampton, stealing more than £20,000 in cash and causing £60,000 worth of damage to the machines when retrieving the money.

In and around Buckinghamshire, they tampered with ATMs in High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Amersham, Berkhamstead, Beaconsfield, Chesham, Marlow, and Hemel Hempstead.

The fraud was spotted by bank staff and referred to the the Dedicated Card and Payment Crime Unit (DCPCU), a specialist police unit that is funded by the banking and finance industry, to investigate.

CCTV evidence from the ATMs identified Vizir and Martinica at a series of cash trapping ATM incidents.

Officers from the unit arrested them both while they were trying to steal money from a supermarket ATM in St Albans on February 1 last year.

A search of one of their home addresses uncovered a number of the devices in various states of preparation, along with the raw material and tools to make the cash traps.

The pair were jailed for a combined total of four and a half years at the Inner London Crown Court on June 16 - two years and three months each. 

They had both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to steal. 

Detective Chief Inspector Gary Robinson, head of the DCPCU, said: "The DCPCU is working tirelessly with the banking and finance industry to disrupt the organised criminal gangs behind fraud and protect the public.

“This sentencing is a warning to those who believe they can benefit financially from fraud that they will be caught and punished."