15 Arrests Made In ATM Theft Probe

An investigation into the recent spate of ATM thefts in Northern Ireland has seen 15 people arrested, 41 searches carried out and over £15,000 recovered, according to police.

15 cash machines have been stolen by criminal gangs since the beginning of February, sparking fears over the future ATM provision in rural communities and the establishment of a PSNI specialised task force to tackle the issue.

The arrest of 15 individuals in the ongoing investigation has seen detectives charge five men in relation to incidents in Fintana, Antrim and the Tully Road, Nutt's Corner. Two men have been charged for other offences including theft, driving related incidents and possession of criminal property. Six of these man have been remanded in custody.

Detective Chief Superintendent Darren Evans, Head of the Criminal Investigation Branch, said these arrests were secured through information from the public and successful policing, but highlighted that investigating officers are not becoming complacent.
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"We continue to focus on doing everything we can to catch those responsible and prevent further thefts," he said. "Local policing teams continue to patrol areas at night which could be vulnerable to an attack and detectives remain dedicated to investigating the thefts that have taken place.

"I would again appeal to the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious or unusual activity, such as people or vehicles loitering in areas close to ATMs.

"This remains a key priority for us. The idea that ATM thefts are a victimless crime is simply wrong as these attacks cause untold loss and disruption to people, businesses and whole communities, in terms of the loss of very expensive machinery, delays in production, damage to the local economy."

Anyone who hears machinery late at night, particularly in rural areas, is urged to call the non-emergency line 101 or 999 if they think a crime is in process. Owners of heavy plant machinery are advised to take every possible step to secure and immobilise it to prevent further crimes.

Information about recent ATM thefts can be passed to the PSNI or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is an anonymous service.


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