08/04/2019

ATM Stolen From Filling Station In Co L'Derry

This weekend marked the ninth ATM theft in Northern Ireland this year as thieves targeted a filling station in Dungiven, County L'Derry.

O'Kanes on the Feeny Road was targeted shortly before 4.30am on Sunday morning, 07 April.

After forcibly removing the ATM from the shop wall, thieves abandoned the digger, which had been stolen from a nearby site, at the scene.

Detective Inspector Richard Thornton said: "Unfortunately, the public and the business community are today waking to the news that another ATM machine has been stolen; that another business has been targeted by these brazen thieves.  

"As in all of these ATM thefts, the actions of these criminals have not only caused immediate financial harm to the business targeted, but they have understandably caused fear in the community and impacted upon a vital service many local people rely on. 

"We are doing all we can to catch the people responsible – it is a key priority for us – however, I want to reiterate that the key to stopping these crimes and getting ahead of these criminals is information from the public.
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"We need people to report anything suspicious, including seeing any unusual activity or people in areas close to ATMs. For example, if you hear machinery late at night or in the early hours please let us know. If you see any cars being driven in a suspicious manner close to where ATMs are located, please let us know."

Retail NI has condemned the robbery of the Dungiven shop, one of its members. Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said words fail to describe his anger at the situation, which may lead to rural areas across the region being left without any ATM provision.

"Yet again a local independent retailer, who provides an invaluable service to the local community, is awakened from his sleep to be told his business is smashed up and ATM stolen.

"The gangsters behind these attacks are systematically targeting independent retailers. Our members in every part of Northern Ireland feel under siege, and are asking themselves if they will be next.

"I will be seeking an urgent meeting with the Chief Constable and the Chair of the Policing Board to discuss this crisis and what further can be done.

"Every resource possible must be given to the PSNI ATM task group to enable them to catch these criminal gangs. If these criminal gangs are not caught, much of rural Northern Ireland will be an ATM free zone, with people unable to access cash."

Recent months have seen criminal gangs steal another eight ATMs from businesses in rural areas.



(JG/CM)

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