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£30,000 bill for ticket machine raid

PUBLISHED: 11:42 02 March 2009 | UPDATED: 11:22 12 August 2010

TWO thieves were jailed for causing £30,000 damage to railway ticket vending machines. Tony Trinder, 29, of Bournevale Road, Bromley and Richard Smith, of Webber Row, Southwark, used keys stolen from Orpington station to get into the cash boxes around B

TWO thieves were jailed for causing £30,000 damage to railway ticket vending machines.

Tony Trinder, 29, of Bournevale Road, Bromley and Richard Smith, of Webber Row, Southwark, used keys stolen from Orpington station to get into the cash boxes around Bromley.

Southwark Crown Court heard on Thursday (February 19) how the pair were 'foot soldiers' in a thieving spree which cost London and South Eastern Railway Company £6,000 in ticket profits and a £30,000 bill to replace the damaged machines.

Jailing Trinder for 12 months and handing Smith a six month sentence suspended for two years, Judge James Wadsworth said: "This was a serious conspiracy. I accept neither of you were at the head of it but the problem is that the people who are, need to persuade people like you. Clearly they persuaded others like you as well to go and do the thieving.

"You both knew what you were doing was part of something very much bigger and you both joined in, that is the reason this conspiracy is so serious.

"I cannot allow a situation where people are saying in the pubs around your area 'Look what happens to the last two guys who got caught, the courts let them off'. That would just encourage them.

"You went into this with your eyes open and you made a conscious decision to be dishonest."

Smith was told he had escaped jail by 'the skin of his teeth' and was ordered to comply with a nine-month supervision order as well as an 8pm to 5am curfew.

The court heard the keys used to open up the ticket machine were stolen from Orpington station on December 27, 2007 but it is not known who first stole them.

The pair later targeted Petts Wood station and CCTV footage shows them making off with two boxes containing just over £1,000.

On March 1 last year they stole from a machine at Sundridge Park Railway station, only to return nine days later and break into it again.

But their second attempt was foiled by officers from the British Transport Police who were lying in wait for them, the court heard.

Roger Smart, prosecuting, said: "Officers saw them making their way over the bridge. Smith was told to stop. When Trinder became aware of the police he threw a box over the bridge and ran towards a nearby common."

He was caught and cops discovered the set of keys as well as the lock from the ticket machine. The cash box was found on the platform below the bridge.

During police interviews both defendants refused to make any comment. Both admitted one charge of conspiracy to steal.

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