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Dublin: 10 °C Wednesday 23 October, 2019
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'Take every step to keep it secure': Gardaí appeal to heavy machinery owners in bid to prevent more ATM thefts

“If criminal groups cannot steal diggers and other similar machinery, they cannot tear out ATMs.”

Image: Shutterstock/bogdanhoda

GARDAÍ HAVE ISSUED an appeal to owners of heavy machinery to keep the vehicles as secure as possible in a bid to prevent more ATM thefts

Last night four ATMs were stolen, bringing to 15 the total number of ATMs stolen by criminal gangs north and south of the border in recent weeks

The incidents typically involve a stolen piece of heavy machinery such as an excavator being used to rip the ATM out of the wall where it is housed. The device is then transported away.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan has said he is “very concerned” at the robberies and had been briefed on the issue by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris.

Two ATMs were ripped from the wall of a bank in Kells, Co Meath, overnight, and two more in separate incidents in Armagh and Antrim.

In a statement this afternoon, gardaí appealed to heavy machinery owners and users to “take every possible step to secure and immobilise your vehicles”.

Please ensure they are stored securely and not left in an area that is easily accessible overnight. If criminal groups cannot steal diggers and other similar machinery, they cannot tear out ATMs. This will also mean that these expensive pieces of machinery are not destroyed or burnt out after they are stolen.

Members of the public are being asked to stay vigilant for unusual sightings of plant machinery, commercial jeeps, or pickup trucks during the night, and to contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or Crimestoppers on 1800 250 025.

The PSNI made a similar appeal this evening, and released more details of the two robberies which took place in Northern Ireland:

At approximately 2.30am this morning, two ATMs were stolen from a shop on Main Street, Crumlin. The machines were removed from the wall by a digger and placed into a pick-up truck. The digger was then set alight before at least three men made off from the scene.
The second incident was reported to police shortly before 3.45am at Drumgor shops in Craigavon. A telehandler used in an attempt to remove the cash machine from the wall. The criminals were unsuccessful in their attempt and ran off from the scene, leaving the ATM and telehandler behind. They have now been recovered and examinations are being carried out.

The statement appealed to owners of the machinery of make sure it is secure, and stressed that investigating police are doing ‘everything they can’ to prevent more robberies, but are hampered by the number of ATMs and the geographic spread of the thefts.

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Nicky Ryan

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