Man charged over digger theft of double ATM from Tesco store

Second man aged 43 arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal machines in Antrim town

The Tesco Extra store in Antrim town from which the ATMs were stolen. File photograph: Google Street View

The Tesco Extra store in Antrim town from which the ATMs were stolen. File photograph: Google Street View

 

A 26-year-old man has been charged in connection with the theft of a double-ATM from a supermarket in Antrim town, Co Antrim.

Thieves used a digger to steal the cash machines from a Tesco Extra store at Castle Way early on Friday. The man has been charged with conspiracy to steal.

Another man (43), was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to steal by detectives hours after the incident and was later released on bail pending further inquiries.

The PSNI said they received a report of the incident just after 3am on Friday.

The cash machines were recovered a few miles away about half an hour later.

Paul Michael, who was mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey until May this year, told the PA news agency that the incident was “an attack on the whole community”.

‘Crime against the community’

He continued: “The location of (the) ATMs did not just service Tesco shoppers, but the residents of the whole town...A crime against the community.”

Mr Michael said the Tesco supermarket was open for business as usual.

Det Chief Insp Dunny McCubbin said: “Our investigation into this is ongoing, and I continue to appeal to anyone who has any information that can assist us with our inquiries to contact detectives in Antrim.”

In a previous statement, Det Insp Richard Thornton appealed to owners of heavy plant machinery to secure the vehicles properly to prevent such incidents, and asked the public to be aware of diggers on the roads in the evening or in the middle of the night.

In November, a man was charged over an attempted ATM theft that caused the collapse of a petrol station roof in Ballynahinch, Co Down. – PA