Northern Ireland

CCTV shows digger ripping out Dungiven cash machine

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionCCTV shows digger ripping out Dungiven cash machine

CCTV footage showing a stolen digger being used to rip a cash machine from the side of a shop in County Londonderry has been released.

The footage shows the digger driving through a security gate then tearing the machine from the wall.

It happened at a garage outside Dungiven at about 04:30 BST on Sunday.

The cash machine was lifted into a Citroen Berlingo car which had part of its roof cut off. A number of masked men are seen in the footage.

The raid lasted just over four minutes. Afterwards the car was driven away with the cash machine sticking out of the roof.

It is the latest in a series of cash machine thefts on both sides of the Irish border, with the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) saying it was the eighth such incident in 2019.

The digger was stolen from a building site further down the road before being driven to the garage.

Last week, there were two separate incidents of cash machine thefts - one outside a shop in County Antrim and the the wall of a bank in County Monaghan in the Irish Republic.

Police warned there could be several gangs involved in the theft of cash machines in Northern Ireland.

Image caption The robbery took place at O'Kane's Filling Station just outside Dungiven

Shop owner Martin O'Kane said: "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."

Police have appealed for anyone with information on the Dungiven incident to come forward.

Det Insp Richard Thornton said a digger taken from a site close to the shop had been used to rip the machine from the wall.

'A top priority for police'

By Julian O'Neill, BBC News NI Home Affairs Correspondent

There have been eight cash machine robberies this year in Northern Ireland, mostly in rural areas, and police believe at least two gangs are involved.

The PSNI says there is no evidence paramilitaries are engaged in the raids directly, but they make take some of the proceeds.

Image caption Raids on cash machines have taken place across Northern Ireland and over the border

In February, police established a special task force drawn from officers within its organised crime branch, while patrols have also been increased in areas deemed to be vulnerable to attack.

So far, one person has been arrested.

Cracking down on the robberies is currently a top priority and the PSNI is working closely with police in the Republic of Ireland.

'Financial harm and fear'

"On this occasion, the digger was not set alight and was located at the scene."

He added: "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," he said.

Image copyright Pacemaker

"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.

In March, the PSNI announced the creation of a new team of detectives to investigate cash machine thefts, following an upsurge in the number of built-in cash machines being ripped from the walls of commercial properties by plant machinery.

One customer at the garage on Sunday told BBC News NI the theft of the cash machine was a big loss, especially following closures of banks in the area.

Related Topics

More on this story