Armed trio who robbed local bank jailed

Date published: 16 March 2018

Three armed robbers who targeted Rochdale’s Santander Bank twice in three weeks were jailed on Friday (16 March).

The men were sentenced at Minshull Street Crown Court after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit armed robbery and possession of firearms at a previous hearing.

Lee Tansey (7/12/1977) of Innings Drive, Salford was sentenced to 21 years in prison.
Anthony Gough (7/8/1980) of 260 Blackmoor Drive, Liverpool was sentenced to 21 years.
Christopher Reuben (30/12/1985) of Wigan Road, Ashton-in-Makerfield, was sentenced to 21 years.

Between July 2016 and January 2017 officers from GMP’s Serious Organised Crime Group carried out an investigation into several high-value armed robberies across the North.

Code-named Operation Tandem, the trio were pinned to six robberies in Rochdale, Prestwich, Durham, Blackburn, and Lancashire.

Among the businesses targeted included a raid at the Yorkshire Street Santander bank in Rochdale.

Two armed men in balaclavas stole a substantial amount of money from a cash-in-transit van outside the bank on 8 November. One man was armed with a crowbar and threatened staff before their car was found burnt out on Goose Lane.

An attempted robbery was made a couple of weeks earlier on 18 October 2016.

Following undercover surveillance work, phone and vehicle analysis, the trio were foiled and arrested in January 2017 whilst carrying out final preparations for a robbery in New Mills Derbyshire.

Officers raided their homes and a lock-up where they discovered crucial evidence including holdalls and clothing used during the robberies, the sawn off shotgun, handgun and ammunition.

Detective Sergeant Rick Castley, from GMP’s Serious Organised Crime Group, said: “These men conducted extensive recces on premises and victims, identifying lay-up points and escape routes prior to the robberies. They attempted to leave no forensic trace and avoid detection by switching vehicles, using numerous cloned registration plates, setting fire to vehicles following offences, using unregistered phones and wore construction style clothes during the planning stage to hide in plain sight.”
“Through covert surveillance, painstaking hours of telephony work and extensive vehicle enquiries, we managed to step in and stop them from not only hurting anyone else but also stealing more money. Whilst doing this we also got the crucial evidence needed to secure this conviction today and that’s a testament to all specialist officers who worked on this investigation.
“Tansey, Gough and Reuben were clearly fuelled by greed and as they became more and more arrogant in the fact they were never going to be caught, we were building a strong evidential case against them”.
“I welcome the sentences handed down today”.

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