Four held after attempt to raid Belfast cash machine
Detectives from the PSNI's Organised Crime Unit investigating the recent spate of ATM thefts arrested four people yesterday in connection with a burglary at an ATM installation in east Belfast.
Detective Chief Inspector David Henderson said: "We arrested three men at the scene and one later on at an address in east Belfast following a burglary of an ATM bunker at a filling station on the Gilnahirk Road in the early hours of this morning. They did not manage to steal any of the money."
The men, aged 30, 33, 37 and 41, are currently in custody at Musgrave Station assisting police with their enquiries.
The PSNI believe the men are members of a gang linked to recent ATM attacks in the greater Belfast area in the last few months.
Last night the PSNI said it was treating ATM-related crimes as a priority. "In recent months we have carried out 41 searches across Northern Ireland, during which we recovered over £51,000 and made 19 arrests," a spokeswoman said.
"As a result of these arrests, detectives have now charged five men in relation to ATM thefts in Fintona, Antrim and Tully Road, Nutts Corner and also charged two men for other offences including theft, driving offences and possession of criminal property. Six of these men have been remanded in custody," she added.
So far this year in Northern Ireland, 15 ATM machines have been stolen in 12 incidents, with heavy construction machines used to rip the cashpoints from the walls of stores and filling stations.
There have also been two attempted thefts in which the machines were not physically wrenched from walls of buildings.
Appealing for information about the attacks on ATMS, the PSNI said: "These attacks cause untold loss and disruption to people, businesses and whole communities."
Members of the public are urged to report suspicious activity by calling 101.