Four arrested over attempted theft of ATM ‘may be part of crime gang’
The arrests followed an attack at a service station in east Belfast.
Four people arrested following an attempt to steal from a Belfast service station ATM may be members of a gang linked to recent attacks on city cash machines.
The latest incident happened in the Gilnahirk Road area of east Belfast early on Friday but no money was taken.
Three suspects were detained at the scene and another at an address in east Belfast.
Men aged 30, 33, 37 and 41 are in custody at Musgrave police station in the city centre.
ATM crimes have been a priority for the PSNI PSNI detective chief inspector David Henderson
PSNI detective chief inspector David Henderson said: “We believe these individuals are members of a gang linked to recent ATM attacks in the greater Belfast area in the last few months.
“ATM crimes have been a priority for the PSNI.”
He said the individuals were not at this stage being linked to digger attacks on cash machines.
In recent months the force has carried out 41 searches across Northern Ireland, recovering £51,000 cash and made 19 arrests.
A total of five men were charged over ATM thefts in Fintona, Co Tyrone, Antrim, and Nutts Corner.
They have also charged two men with other offences including theft, driving offences and possession of criminal property.
Six have been remanded in prison custody.
There have been 12 incidents and 15 ATMs stolen during a spate of attacks which began in February and stretched across Northern Ireland.
The senior officer said the community and police had successfully worked together to tackle the threat and it remained a key priority for the force.
“In no way does this mean that we will become complacent.
“We continue to focus on doing everything we can to catch those responsible and prevent further thefts from ATMs.”
He urged members of the public to remain vigilant, for anyone who heard machinery late at night to call police.
“The idea that ATM thefts are a victimless crime is simply wrong.
“These attacks cause untold loss and disruption to people, businesses and whole communities, in terms of the loss of very expensive machinery, delays in production, damage to the local economy.”