Belfast Telegraph

Two men held after digger used in double ATM theft

The pair were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal after the incident in Antrim.

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

By Cate McCurry, PA

Two men have been arrested after thieves used a digger to steal a double ATM from a supermarket in Antrim.

The men, aged 26 and 43, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal by detectives investigating the theft at the Tesco store.

The Police Service Northern Ireland said they received a report of the incident just after 3am on Friday.

The machine was recovered a few miles away about half an hour later.

The 43-year-old man was interviewed and released on police bail pending further inquiries. The 26-year-old remains in police custody.

Paul Michael, who was mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey until May this year, told the PA news agency that the incident was “an attack on the whole community”.

A crime against the community Paul Michael, ex-mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey

He continued: “The location of (the) ATMs did not just service Tesco shoppers, but the residents of the whole town.

“A crime against the community.”

Mr Michael said the Tesco supermarket was open for business as usual.

Detective Chief Inspector McCubbin said: “Our investigation into this is ongoing and I continue to appeal to anyone who has any information that can assist us with our inquiries to contact detectives in Antrim.”

In a previous statement, Detective Inspector Richard Thornton appealed to owners of heavy plant machinery to secure the vehicles properly to prevent such incidents in the future, and asked the public to be aware of diggers on the roads in the evening or middle of the night.

In November, a man was charged over an attempted ATM theft that caused the collapse of a petrol station roof in Ballynahinch, Co Down.

PA

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