Belfast Telegraph

Templepatrick man Jamie McConnell in court over Antrim Tesco ATM raid

Jamie McConnell. Pic Pacemaker
Jamie McConnell. Pic Pacemaker
The scene at Tesco in Antrim after an ATM machine was stolen (Paul Michael/PA)

By Nevin Farrell

A man has appeared in court in connection with the theft of a double ATM from a Tesco store close to Antrim Police Station.

Jamie McConnell (26), of Templeton Park in Templepatrick, County Antrim, was using crutches at Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday.

He was charged with conspiring with others to steal cash machines on dates between October 27, 2018 and December 6 this year.

A digger was used to steal the ATM at Tesco last Friday and the vehicle was found on fire at the scene.

Police recovered the stolen ATMs in the Birch Hill Road area of Antrim, a few miles from the scene.

A police officer told Coleraine Court he believed he could connect the accused to the charge.

A defence solicitor said the "rip-out" at Tesco occurred at the "rear of the police station" in Antrim.

The police officer said the defendant was linked to the Antrim incident and other incidents by "phone evidence".

The officer said phone sim cards had been seized which contained the phone number of a person who lives at a "drop site".

The policeman said there was also a link between the defendant and an 'L200' vehicle.

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The scene at Tesco in Antrim after an ATM machine was stolen (Paul Michael/PA)

The court heard the defendant had previously been arrested in connection with an ATM raid at Nutts Corner.

The defence solicitor said evidence against his client was "circumstantial" and there was no fingerprint or DNA linking him to diggers or vehicles.

The police officer said he believed the defendant was "forensically aware" and that diggers used in raids are set on fire making it difficult to obtain DNA.

The defence solicitor said it is understood there may be further arrests and the defendant was of the view he shouldn't apply for bail "until everyone is spoken to".

The defendant was remanded in custody to appear at Antrim Magistrates Court via video link on December 17.

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