Belfast Telegraph

Cash machine stolen in digger raid recovered by member of public

Two cash machines were ripped from the wall of the Tesco store in Crumlin, Co Antrim on Friday
Two cash machines were ripped from the wall of the Tesco store in Crumlin, Co Antrim on Friday
Lauren Harte

By Lauren Harte

Police are examining a stolen ATM which was recovered in Co Tyrone.

The cash machine was found by a member of the public at around 6.20pm on Monday in the Barony Road area of Mountfield, near Omagh.

Detective Inspector Trevor Stevenson said: "The machine has been taken for examination and we are working with our colleagues in the banking industry to establish where the machine was taken from.

"I want to thank the vigilant member of public who made the discovery and reported it to police."

The discovery comes as police face increasing pressure after two more ATMs were stolen in the early hours of Friday morning.

The machines were ripped from the wall at the Tesco supermarket in Crumlin, Co Antrim. It brings to 12 the number of machines taken this year across 10 separate incidents.

A second attempted raid was reported to police shortly before 3.45am on Friday at Drumgor shops in Craigavon. The criminals were unsuccessful in their attempt and ran off from the scene, leaving the ATM and telehandler behind. So far this year, ATMs have been raided in counties Antrim, Fermanagh, Londonderry and Tyrone - all in similar incidents, with machinery used to tear out the cash points in the dead of night.

Retail NI chief executive Glyn Roberts has warned that the costs involved for retailers affected could be close to £1m. He has said many were now considering removing cash machines, amid fears they will be targeted by the thieves.

Raids have also taken place in the Irish Republic. It has led to gardai pushing for tracking devices to be built into all ATMs.

Senior Garda officers and Irish bank officials are studying measures to beef up security at the machines.

At present some ATMs are fitted with the trackers but gardai say the measure should be extended to help capture the criminals and recover the stolen cash.

Officers investigating the raids on the Bank of Ireland and Allied Irish Banks machines at John Street in Kells, Co Meath in the early hours of Good Friday have made some progress with their inquiries, and are linking it to a Northern Ireland gang.

They have recovered a Jeep and a car used by the gang in their getaway. Both vehicles were found burnt out. They had been stolen in Ardee, Co Louth within the past couple of weeks. The vehicles were recovered with the burnt-out ATMs after they were spotted by an alert local.

Investigators are now trying to trace the escape route used by the gang as they made their way through Co Monaghan and over the border into south Armagh.

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