Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland filling station using concrete blocks to thwart ATM thieves

An ATM in Maghera is being protected by concrete blocks. Credit: Brendan Marshall
An ATM in Maghera is being protected by concrete blocks. Credit: Brendan Marshall
An ATM in Maghera is being protected by concrete blocks. Credit: Brendan Marshall
Gareth Cross

By Gareth Cross

A filling station in Co Londonderry is using concrete blocks to protect its ATM machine after a spate of recent burglaries.

The Centra store on the Glenshane Road has stacked concrete blocks on either side of its ATM to protect it from thieves.

It follows a series of ATM robberies across Northern Ireland this year.

Thieves have been using building machinery like diggers to rip ATMs from shop walls and make off with the proceeds.

The most recent incident took place in nearby Dungiven in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Other areas targeted include Antrim, Omagh, Moira, Dungannon and Newtownabbey.

There have been nine ATM burglaries in eight separate incidents so far in 2019.

A number of ATMs have also been targeted in the Irish Republic in recent months.

Earlier this year a dedicated PSNI team was set up to investigate and police warned that paramilitaries could be profiting from the thefts.

Following the latest incident in Dungiven an officer at PSNI Craigavon said police simply couldn't predict which cash machine would be targeted next.

"I could sit for hours at an ATM but no sooner am I round the corner than a team of crooks arrive," the officer said.

"The idea that we can watch them 24/7 is pure fiction."

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