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Sunday 17 December 2017

Gang tried to rip ATM from wall of shopping centre

Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A gang who tried to blow up an ATM at a southside shopping centre fled empty-handed after causing extensive damage to the machine but failing to open it.

The highly organised gang are believed to have used gas to try and blow the cash open at 4am at the Knocklyon Shopping Centre where SuperValu is the anchor tenant.

Witnesses reported hearing a loud bang and then seeing a group of up to four men try to cut open the steel door that leads to the back of the cash machine.

It also emerged this morning that the raiders sprayed black paint on the screen of the machine, as well as several CCTV cameras, before the attempt to blow up the ATM in order to avoid being recorded.

The Banklink machine was destroyed in the explosion but the gang failed to open its strong safe and get any cash from it.

This morning the device that holds the slot where the cash is dispensed from could be seen hanging by a cable after being blown apart.

The keypad used to insert PIN numbers was also blown from its position.

Around the corner the steel door that allows security personnel entry to the back of the machine was also damaged, and marks could be seen where a concrete saw was used to try to cut through the three bolts after the door frame had been bent back to allow access.

Gardai say the attempt to rob the machine triggered an alarm, and that when they arrived there was extensive damage caused.

"Previous attempts to steal ATM's have involved the use of heavy equipment such as diggers, but in this instance it seems a gas was pumped into the machine before it was exploded," said one source.

"But it appears the plan backfired and no money was taken, however there was a lot of damage done," they added.

The method of using gas to blow up an ATM mirrors a similar case in Enniscorthy Co Wexford in February.

In that instance gardai were fired upon as the gang fled after exploding the machine at the Ulster Bank on Rafter Street in the town.

The explosion could be heard from the nearby garda station and the gang had to abort the attempt with just a small amount of cash after a Garda patrol car arrived at the scene within 40 seconds.

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