Criminals look like prize lemons after taking selfies pocketing cash from fruit machines

Two men were stopped at around midnight on 27 June 2014, while travelling on the A65 at Gargrave near Skipton.

The vehicle was stopped by officers working on Operation Hawk – North Yorkshire Police’s operation to target cross-border criminals using the force’s road network.



The men roamed the UK breaking into gambling machines and were caught with more than a thousand £1 coins in their car.

  • Twenty-four-year-old Daniel Mervin William Hutchinson of Skegness, Lincs
  • Benjamin James Robinson, 29, also from Skegness

Both were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court today (4 April, 2016).

Daniel Mervin William Hutchinson of Skegness, Lincs
Daniel Mervin William Hutchinson of Skegness, Lincs
Benjamin James Robinson, 29, also from Skegness
Benjamin James Robinson, 29, also from Skegness

Robinson was jailed for 32 months, while his accomplice Hutchinson received a six-month sentence, suspended for two years.

They took balaclavas with them to disguise themselves during theft sprees – but came unstuck after they decided to photograph themselves celebrating, posing and grinning after pocketing the cash.

Hutchinson
Hutchinson

Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker, of North Yorkshire Police, said:

We knew we hit the jackpot when we investigated these lemons.

Their car initially failed to stop for officers, who had spotted it driving at speed.



Police searched the white Vauxhall Insignia they were travelling in, and found more than a thousand £1 coins in their car, £2,000 in notes, balaclavas and a screw driver.

Robinson
Robinson

They pleaded guilty conspiracy to steal offence at Bradford Crown Court on 23 November 2015.

DCI Walker added:

These offenders carried out a string of crimes with no thought for the businesses they were targeting – but ultimately their greed, arrogance and affinity for ‘selfies’ proved to be their downfall.

We’re pleased that our operation to target cross-border criminals continues to disrupt the activities of offenders such as Hutchinson and Robinson.

The investigation showed that that they were targeting fruit machines around the country.

It sends out a clear message that anyone travelling into North Yorkshire to commit crime will be caught and brought to justice.


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