Gardaí investigate raiders using gas to blow up ATMs
A specialist crime unit has been set up by gardaí to target an Eastern European gang carrying out multiple attempted ATM robberies.
The gang has become known for using gas to blow up ATM machines to rob cash.
Gardaí are investigating the gang's latest botched attempt after an attempt to blow up an ATM in Greystones, Co Wicklow, on St Patrick's Day morning. Sources said the gang is also responsible for at least 10 other similarly botched burglaries, including attempts in Drogheda, Leixlip and Rathfarnham.
An Audi estate car linked to the gang has been tied to this and other similar attacks.
The car was seen in Greystones at 4.30am on Thursday when an attempt was made to wrest an ATM machine from a bank on Main Street in the town.
After the attempted robbery went wrong the raiders fled the scene but were spotted by a pensioner.
They veered their car towards him but he managed to escape unharmed.
They left without any cash but caused considerable damage to the ATM and the front of the bank.
Senior garda sources are said to be very concerned at the nature with which the ATM attacks are carried out after a court in the UK heard that the safe distance for anyone passing by from one of these explosions is around 100 metres.
There are fears that someone could eventually be killed by one of the explosions.
However, very few of the attacks have been successful for gangs here.
The most high-profile success came when a home-grown gang took almost €100,000 after blowing up a machine in Enniscorthy in 2013.
The criminals fired shots at unarmed gardaí as they fled.