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A recovery crane removing the forecourt roof after the raid at Carlisle's filling station early this morning.
A recovery crane removing the forecourt roof after the raid at Carlisle's filling station early this morning.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Petrol forecourt's roof torn down in attempted ATM robbery

Significant damage was caused to the petrol station.
Nov 18th 2019, 1:19 PM 35,354 13

Updated Nov 18th 2019, 6:43 PM

THE PSNI HAS appealed for information after a petrol station forecourt’s roof was ripped down during an attempted ATM theft in the North. 

At 5.28am today it was reported a bulldozer was being used in an attempt to rip an ATM from the wall of a petrol station on the Belfast Road, Ballynahinch in Co Down. A silver-coloured Volkswagen Passat car with a trailer was also reported at the scene. 

Those involved in the attempted theft were reported to have fled the scene, empty handed, but having caused substantial damage to the premises, and to the roof of the forecourt. 

A police spokeswoman said: “At approximately 6.55am, police received a report of a car, matching the description of the Passat reported at the scene, on fire in the Queens Park area of Saintfield.” 

northern-ireland-atm-raids Crane removing the forecourt roof on Carlisle's filling station in Co Down. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

Detective Inspector Richard Thornton said: “I want to appeal to anyone who was travelling on the Belfast Road this morning, between 5.15am and 5.30am, and who saw a silver Passat, or who believes they saw this car travelling towards Saintfield between 5.30am and 7am to get in touch with us.

“Did you capture footage of this vehicle on your dash cam? If you saw any suspicious activity, including vehicles or persons, in these areas this morning please, pick up the phone and tell us what you know.

“This was a brazen and despicable attack by those involved who have caused serious disruption to the business affected and to its customers. This attack has also caused widespread disruption to people using the Belfast Road, which remains closed as we continue with our enquiries,” he said. 

At a PSNI press conference earlier today, Thornton said there were two other attempted ATM thefts this weekend at a healthcare centre and Belfast City Hospital. Thornton said the PSNI is unable to say whether they are linked to other ATM thefts, but “nothing can be ruled out”.  

Glyn Roberts of Retail NI said these attacks “represent a new low”.

There have been a number of attempted and completed ATM raids in Northern Ireland and northern areas in the Republic in recent months. On Saturday, an attempted raid of a Bank of Ireland ATM caused a significant amount of damage to a branch in Dunleer, Co Louth. 

With reporting by Orla Dwyer. 

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Garreth MacNamee

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