Busy service station closes ATM following string of thefts

PSNI and An Garda ask that heavy machinery be properly secured and immobilised

Management at a busy service station has decided to close its external ATM following a recent string of ATM thefts.

Madden's Centra store in Termonfeckin, Co Louth, made the decision in the aftermath of a number of robberies on both sides of the Border.

In the most recent theft, a well-organised gang made away with the contents of two ATMs in Kells, Co Meath, in the early hours of Friday. A digger was used to pull the heavy machines from the walls of both Bank of Ireland and AIB. The raids are estimated to have taken four minutes.

On the same morning, two ATMs were stolen in Crumlin, Co Antrim.

A sign at Madden’s Centra reads: “Due to ongoing security issues in relation to ATMs, this ATM has been put out of service until further notice.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.”

The service station’s owner, Ray Madden, said: “This definitely wasn’t a decision that was taken lightly but we felt we had to take it for security reasons and in the interest of the safety of every one,” he said.

The station’s indoor ATM is still open and the closure of the external machine is temporary, he said.

Meanwhile, both the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and An Garda Síochána have re-issued appeals to the public for assistance.

Owners of heavy plant machinery are asked to ensure it is secured and immobilised to prevent criminals stealing the machinery and using it in further robberies.

Members of the public are being asked to report unusual activity, including people loitering near ATMs – particularly at closed shops – and the sound of machinery late at night or early in the morning.

Those reporting a crime can contact the PSNI non-emergency number (101) in the North and the Garda confidential line (1800 666 111) or Crimestoppers (1800 250 025) in the Republic.