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14 December 2011, 15:01
A man who attacked a cash delivery driver, as he was picking up a security box containing about 8 grand from a hotel in Hyde, has been jailed.
35 year old Michael McKeown from Audenshaw has been sentenced to seven and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery at an earlier hearing.
It happened in July, when a delivery driver for G4S was picking up a security cash box from the hotel.
When he left he was confronted by a masked man who kicked him in the leg, causing the driver to fall to the ground and drop the box.
The thief then picked the box up and then got into a waiting Landrover which drove off.
The cash delivery driver remotely activated the Smartwater technology when he got back into his van, which strained the notes inside the cash box with ink, making it obvious they had been stolen.
Police found the the stolen cash box and the getaway vehicle with an hour of arriving at the scene.
Using number plate recognition technology officers found out the landrover had been stolen during a burglary two days before and intelligence linked the burglary to a silver Renalt Clio that was known to be used by McKeown.
McKeown was on licence at the time for robbery, and about two hours later he was stopped by officers driving the silver Clio.
He was arrested and his clothing seized. This was forensically analysed and stains were swabbed from McKeown's Adidas
jacket, which he was still wearing when he was arrested.
This provided an exact match to the unique code embedded in the ink that was sprayed on the cash after it was stolen from the hotel.
Detective Inspector Dave Moores, from Tameside CID, said:
"McKeown's arrest was the result of some fantastic teamwork by officers from the ANPR team and Tameside CID, so much so that McKeown had not even had a chance to change his clothes when we caught up with him.
"Because of the speed of that arrest, we were able to swab the clothing he was wearing during the robbery and match it to the unique code within the Smartwater ink - which is a great tool for ensuring criminals cannot benefit when they commit cash-in-transit robberies.
"As a result, the evidence was overwhelming and McKeown had no choice but to admit his guilt.
"Thanks to this teamwork and the speed of our response, what this means in real terms is a very serious and determined robber is now off the streets and behind bars where he can no longer intimidate and steal from delivery drivers who are simply going about their business.
"I want this case to send a strong message not just to our communities but also the criminals themselves - Greater Manchester Police along with our partner agencies work very closely together and have technologies available that mean there is no place to hide. If you want to commit these sorts of robberies, then rest assured, we have the tools to track you down and lock you up."
Police forces from across the North West have launched a major operation to crackdown on armed robberies
in the run-up to Christmas.
The operation, code named Vanguard, aims to build on previous successes, which has seen 20 armed and dangerous offenders sentenced to more than 150 years in prison in Greater Manchester alone over the past 12 months.
The number of cash-in-transit incidents also dropped by 45 percent between April 2010 and 2011 and by 376 per cent since April 2004.