Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 19 April 2019

Border farmers asked to secure equipment due to ATM thefts

A tractor was also used. Photo: Steve Humphreys
A tractor was also used. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Gardai in the Cavan/Monaghan division have asked farmers to lock up their equipment following a spate of ATM thefts in the region using farm and construction equipment.

Gardai asked farmers who have mechanical diggers, tractors or low loaders on sites, outfarms etc. to ensure they are stored securely and not left in an area that is easily accessed.

Gardai in the region also requested that any members of the local communities who see unusual movement of plant machinery during the hours of darkness, particularly in built-up areas, to report such activity immediately.

Justice Minister Charlie  Flanagan has said co-operation between the PSNI and gardaí was a key priority following 11 ATM raids on both sides of the Border this year.

The latest raid, in which a digger was used to rip an ATM from the wall before it was taken from the scene, was carried out in Dungiven, Co Derry, on Sunday morning.

It is the most recent in a series of similar thefts of cash machines, which police agencies believe could have been carried out by up to three separate criminal gangs.

In total, 11 ATMs have been stolen from Cavan and Monaghan, as well as Antrim, Down, Fermanagh, Armagh, Tyrone and Derry since the start of the year.

There have been 14 such thefts since March last year.

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Mr Flanagan said the thefts were "not victimless crimes" and that it was "imperative" they were stopped.

One of these cross-Border gangs under investigation is a crime group based in south Armagh/north Louth and is led by a suspect in the murder of Det Gda Adrian Donohoe.

The scene of an ATM robbery at Bank of Ireland in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan on Sunday morning. Photo: Lorraine Teevan
The scene of an ATM robbery at Bank of Ireland in Kingscourt, Co. Cavan on Sunday morning. Photo: Lorraine Teevan

The gang leader has never been arrested for the heroic garda's murder in 2013, but is a chief suspect in the killing.

This individual's group is being investigated for involvement in an ATM theft in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan, last week as well as another raid across the Border.

Despite the significant number of ATM thefts, no arrests have been made by the PSNI or gardaí investigating the crimes.

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