Police Commend Locals Who Helped Foil ATM Theft

A senior police officer has commended members of the public who helped foil an attempted ATM theft in County Antrim yesterday morning, but added that a "number of gangs" are believed to be behind the recent spate of attacks.

Two men, aged 26 and 31, were arrested and questioned on suspicion of theft and a number of other offences following the incident at Nutts Corner on Tuesday 30 April. The 31-year-old has since been charged and is due to appear at Ballymena Magistrates Court this morning, Wednesday 01 May. The second individual remains in custody assisting police with their enquiries.

Police received a number of tip offs from local residents at around 3.30am that a digger was used to remove an ATM from a premises on the Tully Road. After dispatching a significant number of resources to the area, the men were detained and the stolen cash machine was recovered.
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Detective Superintendent Rachel Shields said the progress in the investigation, which has seen fifteen ATMs stolen this year, was a result of information provided by the public. "I would like to thank the local people and also take this opportunity to renew our appeal for any suspicious activity," she said.

Anyone who owns or uses heavy plant machinery is urged to take every possible stop to secure and immobilise it. "If criminals cannot steal diggers, they cannot tear out ATMs," DS Shields added. "This will also mean that these expensive pieces of machinery are not destroyed or burnt out."

The police have also vowed to continue their pursuit of the criminals behind the ATM thefts, as they believe a number of gangs are involved.

"The threat of more thefts is very real," the senior Detective added. "Every single one of these attacks impacts the community significantly - denying access to money and on many occasions causing inconvenience as the shop or filling station is forced to close for repair.

"We will continue to do all we can to catch those responsible. Tonight again we will have local police patrolling areas which could be vulnerable to an attack and detectives remain dedicated to investigating the thefts that have taken place. I assure you this remains a key priority for police."

Anyone with information which may help officers apprehend those responsible is urged to contact detectives on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


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