Britain

Cash machine stolen in spate of ATM thefts

A cash machine has been ripped from a wall and stolen in the latest of a spate of ATM thefts in Northern Ireland.

The theft in Dungiven, County Londonderry, marks the eighth cash machine to be stolen in the area so far this year.

Police said last week that several criminal gangs were behind the raids, with paramilitaries potentially profiting from the crimes.

In tactics similar to the previous thefts, a digger was stolen from a nearby building site and used to tear the ATM from the wall.

It was taken from a petrol station on in the town.

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CCTV footage reportedly shows three men wearing balaclavas near the shop before carrying out the theft at 4.15am on Sunday.

The raid is said to have taken about four minutes.

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The thieves lowered the ATM into a Citroen Berlingo van which had its roof cut off and drove away, with the cash machine protruding out above the top of the vehicle.

Shop owner Martin O'Kane, who surveyed the damage from behind a police cordon on Sunday afternoon, said: "The men who did this are just scumbags.

"There are going to be less and less ATMs about now because of these attacks.

"There is one basically happening every week now.

"I probably won't get another cash machine in again – and that will be the local community losing out."

Image: Police officers have said paramilitaries may be profiting from a spate of cash machine thefts

The digger used was not burned out like in previous raids.

Forensic officers were dusting the cab for fingerprints on Sunday afternoon.

Detective Inspector Richard Thornton said: "Unfortunately, the public and the business community are today waking to the news that another ATRead More – Source

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