ATMs found empty in woods after theft from Co Meath banks

An estimated €200,000 had been removed from machines stolen from banks in Kells

Gardaí and workmen at the scene of a double ATM robbery on Main Street in  Kells, Co Meath. The ATMs were ripped from the walls of the banks. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

Gardaí and workmen at the scene of a double ATM robbery on Main Street in Kells, Co Meath. The ATMs were ripped from the walls of the banks. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

 

Gardaí have recovered two empty ATMs they suspect were stolen from Kells, Co Meath last Friday.

The machines were discovered early on Sunday in a wooded area near Kingscourt, Co Cavan, just over the border from Meath. A burnt-out SUV and trailer were also found nearby.

Garda has confirmed it has found “items of interest” to the investigation. Garda scenes-of-crime examiners are at the scene.

Gardaí at the scene of a double ATM robbery in Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin
Gardaí at the scene of a double ATM robbery in Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins Dublin

It is understood the machines, one from AIB and one from Bank of Ireland, have been severely damaged. It is estimated they contained about €200,000 when they were taken, having been filled with cash for the bank-holiday weekend.

In the early hours of Friday thieves used a digger to remove two ATMs from the walls of the banks on Kells’ main street in an operation which took less than five minutes.

Spikes had been put outside the Garda station nearby to slow down their response.

Superintendent Dermot O’Connor from Kells Garda station said the robbery was a “well-planned, sophisticated crime, which has ripped the heart out of the community”.

Two more ATMs were stolen in Northern Ireland on the same night, although gardaí do not believe the same gang was responsible.

Sixteen ATMs have been stolen north and south since the start of the year.