Being a detective is hard work. Most perpetrators take the time to cover up their tracks as best they can, giving police officers the difficult task of piecing together all the minuscule puzzle pieces they manage to find. Then every once in awhile, some of the world’s dumbest criminals come along and make it easy for the local authorities – criminals like Daniel Hutchinson and Benjamin Robinson of Skegness, Lincs.
The two were arrested in North Yorkshire in mid-2014 after local police found evidence in their vehicle that led them to believe they were the fruit machine (slot machine) bandits that were hitting businesses across the country.
Their trial was made all the easier for the court when police introduced a string of selfies taken by the fruit machine bandits during their crime spree.
Daniel Mervin William Hutchinson (24) and Benjamin James Robinson (29), both from Skegness, were found guilty and sentenced in Bradford Crown Court on Monday. Robinson received a 32 month jail sentence, while his accomplice, Hutchinson, was sentenced to 6 months in jail with a 2-year suspension.
On the night of June 27, 2014, North Yorkshire Police were set up along A65 conducting Operation Hawk, designed to intercept cross-border criminals. Hutchinson and Robinson were traveling along the roadway near Skipton when police attempted to pull over their white Vauxhall Insignia. Initially, the pair failed to stop for police, which aroused enough suspicion to lead to a search of the vehicle.
Officers found over one thousands £1 coins and £2,000 worth of notes in the vehicle – all of which had been stolen from fruit machines during their criminal escapades. They also discovered the balaclavas that were worn during the crimes, as well as a screwdriver, presumably used to break into the slots’ hoppers.
Both men pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to steal on November 23, 2015.
Fruit Machine Bandits’ Selfies Posted by North Yorkshire Police
“We knew we hit the jackpot when we investigated these lemons,” said North Yorkshire’s Detective Chief Inspector Matt Walker.
|After their sentences were handed down on April, 4, 2016, the police department posted a few of the arrogantly taken selfies that helped them get their conviction on the North Yorkshire Police Facebook page.”We caught these fruit machine bandits after they posed for selfies while they committed their crimes,” police wrote. “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.
“They 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,” the post continued. “This sends out a clear message that anyone travelling into North Yorkshire to commit crime will be caught and brought to justice.”
Several comments were posted, mostly calling the pair of fruit machine thieves derogatory names like “nob ends”, “Thicko’s” and “a sarnie short of a picnic basket”. The question was also posed as to why Hutchinson received a “slap on the wrist” by way of a suspended sentence, calling punishment “a joke in this country”.