Police 'doing everything we can' after two ATM machines stolen in Co Antrim
Police have stressed that they are doing "everything we can" after two ATM machines were stolen in Crumlin in the early hours of Friday morning.
Another attempted ATM raid in Craigavon was unsuccessful and those behind it fled the scene.
The ATMs stolen in Crumlin are the 11th and 12th stolen this year across 10 separate incidents.
The Republic of Ireland has also experienced ATM attacks, with two stolen in Kells, Co Meath on Friday morning.
The latest incident comes after Tuesday's theft in Bushmills.
Around 2.30am 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 was 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 by police and examinations are being carried out.
ATM just ripped out of the wall at Tesco Crumlin! 2:30 this morningPosted by Jordan Mayes on Thursday, April 18, 2019
Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Evans said that police understood the public's concern at the spate of ATM raids.
“I would ask for anyone with any information about either the attack in Crumlin or Craigavon to contact police on 101 quoting reference 128 19/04/19 for Crumlin or 182 19/04/19 for Craigavon. Let us know if you saw anything suspicious or know anything about those responsible," he said.
“I want to reassure the public that we continue to do everything that we can to stop these attacks and catch those responsible. We have dedicated teams of detectives investigating the attacks and increased the amount of resources dedicated to tackle this issue.
"Local police patrols continue to actively patrol vulnerable and high risk locations, day and night. However, the reality is that these attacks are carried out in a range of geographical areas and we cannot monitor every ATM, all of the time. We need the public to help us."
Chief Superintendent Evans said he did not believe the attacks on Friday morning were linked.
“Whilst we do not think these incidents are linked, stolen diggers were used in both attacks. This shows the importance of owners of heavy plant machinery ensuring that they do everything possible to secure and immobilise equipment. If the diggers cannot be stolen, these attacks cannot take place," he said.
“I would also appeal to the public to report anything suspicious to Police. It is unusual to see a digger out on the roads in the evening or the middle of the night – especially now it’s the bank holiday weekend and most construction work comes to a halt. If you do see a digger on the road at these times, please contact us on the non-emergency number 101 and we can check this out.
"Also, if you see people or vehicles loitering in areas close to ATMs, particularly as some shops may be closed, or hear machinery late at night or in the early hours call us. If you think a crime is in progress please dial 999.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital