Police officers in County Derry/Londonderry are appealing for information after a thief used a stolen digger to tear an ATM machine from a wall.
CCTV footage shows the digger driving through a security gate before tearing the ATM from a wall at a garage outside of Dungiven. The incident happened during the early hours of Sunday April, 7.
During the raid – which lasted approximately four minutes – the ATM machine was lifted using the digger into a Citroen Berlingo car which had part of the roof cut away.
The car could then be seen being driven away with the ATM protruding through the roof, leaving the digger behind.
This is reportedly the eighth such incident in 2019 so far, with a series of ATM thefts having taken place on both sides of the Irish border.
Detective Inspector Richard Thornton has made the following statement:
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.
The theft from the filling station on Feeny Road was reported to us just before 4:30am. A digger, believed to have been taken from a site a short distance away, was used to rip the machine from the wall at the side of the shop leaving substantial damage to the building.
On this occasion, the digger was not set alight and was located at the scene.
I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area and who may have witnessed the theft, or who saw the digger being driven to the scene, to contact us. I would also appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the last few days in the area to call us.
Detective Inspector Thornton continued:
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.
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.
No matter how insignificant you think it is, call us and we will investigate. It could be key to catching the criminals responsible.
Yet another ATM theft in Northern Ireland. The eighth this year. This time in Dungiven where thieves stole a digger from a nearby work site to rip the machine from a filling station forecourt in the early hours of Sunday. @PA pic.twitter.com/wknQP5oGeL
— David Young (@DavidYoungPA) April 7, 2019
Those with information which could help the police in their investigations are encouraged to call detectives on 101, quoting reference number 357.
Alternatively, information can be given to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100 per cent anonymous.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.