Man jailed for 9 months for ticket machine thefts

A man who attempted to break into ticket vending machines (TVM) and steal the takings has been jailed for 36 weeks after an investigation by British Transport Police (BTP) detectives.

John Robinson (34), of no fixed address, was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court on Friday, 27 August after pleading guilty to theft, attempted theft, and criminal damage of Ticket Vending Machines (TVM).

Around 5.30am on Thursday, 17 December 2009, a member of rail staff discovered the padlock to the entrance to St Johns rail station had been smashed off.

Detective Sergeant Paddy Kerr, one of the investigating officers, said: “The member of staff subsequently discovered the front of a TVM on the platform had been extensively damaged.

“While only a small amount of cash was stolen from the machine, the damage was estimated to be between £7,000 and £10,000.

“Robinson’s attack on TVM with a red handled crowbar was captured on CCTV, as was a separate attack on a TVM at Nunhead rail station the following night.”

The disturbance at Nunhead was reported to police and officers attended the station. Robinson was arrested following a foot chase.

He was later charged with theft, attempted theft, and criminal damage of TVMs, pleading guilty to all offences at an earlier hearing at City of Westminster Magistrates Court on Wednesday, 30 June.

Robinson, who was unlawfully at large from HMP Brixton, had just one month left to serve on his current sentence but was given a further 36 weeks, to run consecutive with his current sentence.

DI Kerr added: “Not only was the damage Robinson caused to the machine costly, but his actions put them out of action, impacting on passengers who want to use them.”

A Southeastern spokesman added: “We’d like to commend the BTP for their help and support in this matter and to thank our passengers for their patience while the self-service ticket machines were being repaired.”

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