A senior police officer who helped put three armed robbers behind bars for smashing their way into a Warwickshire bank with a digger has welcomed their 40-year sentence.
Karl White, James Kennea and Leigh Barry have been jailed for a total of 40 years and six months for a string of robbery offences, including a raid on HSBC in Atherstone.
Det Insp Rob Harris said they were "dangerous" men who had been "motivated by greed".
These were a group of dangerous individuals motivated by greed who would stop at nothing to try and steal cash.
They were clearly intent on using extreme force, which included the use of a firearm, and after their actions at the HSBC in Atherstone it is a miracle no one was hurt as the staff inside the building were only inches from the collapsing wall.
We conducted a long and complex investigation to bring these offenders to justice, so I am very pleased with the result.
These convictions should send a clear message that we will be tenacious in our investigations and do everything in our power to protect the public from this sort of offending.
I would also like to reassure the public that these types of incidents are rare, and overall crime rates are falling.
Three men who used a digger to smash their way into a bank have been sentenced to a total of more than 40 years behind bars.
Karl White, James Kennea and Leigh Barry stole an earth-moving digger from a site in Leicestershire and used it to break into the rear of the HSBC in Long Street, Atherstone, Warwickshire.
Armed with what looked like a gun, four men - including the three men now in jail - stole around £6,000 from the building during the raid in June last year.
And when their stolen BMW escape car broke down, they hijacked a new one, forcing a mother and child to get out of their car.
White, aged 27, of Marie Close, Atherstone, and Kennea, 27, from The Radleys, Birmingham, were each sentenced to 18 years in prison for conspiracy to rob the bank, plus 10 years for conspiracy to rob G4S personnel and six years for possession of an imitation firearm, to run concurrently.
Barry, 28, of Ely Close, Birmingham, was sentenced to three years for aiding and abetting robbery, plus 18 months for robbing a William Hill bookies in Erdington in April of this year.