Digger used to steal ATM from filling station in eighth theft this year
An ATM machine has been stolen from a filling station in Derry, the eighth ATM theft in the north this year.
The incident took place outside Dungiven in the early hours of Sunday morning.
The theft from the filling station on Feeny Road was reported to police just before 4:30am.
A digger, believed to have been taken from a site a short distance away, was used to rip the machine from the wall at the side of the shop leaving substantial damage to the building.
The digger was not set alight and was located at the scene.
Last week, a cash machine was stolen by thieves using a digger in Castleblaney, Co Monaghan.
Gardai were investigating after the ATM was then loaded onto a trailer, which was towed by a dark coloured jeep.
PSNI Detective Inspector Richard Thornton said Northern Ireland police were working to combat the spate of recent ATM thefts.
Earlier this year a dedicated PSNI team was set up to investigate.
"Unfortunately, the public and the business community are today waking to the news that another ATM machine has been stolen; that another business has been targeted by these brazen thieves," he said.
"As in all of these ATM thefts, the actions of these criminals have not only caused immediate financial harm to the business targeted, but they have understandably caused fear in the community and impacted upon a vital service many local people rely on.
"I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area and who may have witnessed the theft, or who saw the digger being driven to the scene, to contact us.
"I would also appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the last few days in the area to call us. If you have information which you believe could assist our investigation please, pick up the phone and call detectives on 101, quoting reference number 357 of 07/04/19."
He appealed on members of the public to report suspicious activity to police.
“We are doing all we can to catch the people responsible – it is a key priority for us – however, I want to reiterate that the key to stopping these crimes and getting ahead of these criminals is information from the public," Detective Inspector Thornton said.
“We need people to report anything suspicious, including seeing any unusual activity or people in areas close to ATMs. For example, if you hear machinery late at night or in the early hours please let us know.
"If you see any cars being driven in a suspicious manner close to where ATMs are located, please let us know.
“No matter how insignificant you think it is, call us and we will investigate. It could be key to catching the criminals responsible.”
Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.