Four ATMs stolen overnight in Meath, Antrim and Armagh
Gardai are investigating the theft of four ATMs in Meath, Antrim and Armagh overnight in what is the 18th such incident so far this year.
The two cash machines were ripped from separate banks in Kells in the early hours of the morning with a digger.
The machine, as well as a tractor and trailer, remain at the scene on John Street with the road currently sealed-off by Gardai.
The banks targeted, AIB and Bank of Ireland, are only a short distance apart from one another.
Visible damage could be seen outside the Bank of Ireland building, with a smashed traffic light on the ground along with debris from the damage caused during the theft.
Similar damage was also caused to the AIB bank, which is around 10m away from the other bank.
The street is covered by a large amount of CCTV and Gardai at Kells are appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the thefts to contact them.
Criminal gang have targeted items on both sides of the border, with similar thefts in Cavan and Monaghan earlier this year.
Meanwhile, ATMs were also stolen in separate incidents in Antrim and Armagh overnight.
An ATM was stolen from a supermarket in Crumlin, Co Antrim in the early hours of this morning.
Video posted on social media show a digger on fire with emergency services at the scene.
Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan condemned the robberies.
Minister Flanagan said: “I’m very concerned at the most recent ATM robberies and indeed have expressed that concern to the Garda Commissioner.
“He briefed me this morning and assured me that An Garda Síochána are following every lead in their pursuit of those involved.
“They continue to work closely with their PSNI colleagues to target crime gangs in both jurisdictions.”
Police in Northern Ireland have established a special task force to deal with the spate of incidents.
Police have urged communities to be their “eyes and ears” and be on the look out for heavy plant machinery on the move late at night.
Police have cordoned off a number of roads in the Crumlin area.
SDLP Councillor Thomas Burns condemned the theft saying it had caused major disruption to the town and the staff of the local supermarket.
“Not only have these thieves taken away a vital amenity for the community of Crumlin, they have also prevented staff from accessing their place of work,” he said.
“Those carrying out these attacks are not just robbing cash machines or banks, they are robbing the entire community and residents who rely on these services.
“The SDLP will meet with retailers and the PSNI in the coming weeks to explore ways in which new innovative security measures can be put in place to deter these gangs.”
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