Sunday 15 September 2019

Pictured: Spikes placed outside garda station by gang behind ATM robbery

The spikes were placed outside the garda station to help prevent an emergency response
The spikes were placed outside the garda station to help prevent an emergency response
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

The crime group who carried out a ‘professional and organised’ robbery of two ATMs with a digger placed spikes outside a local garda station to prevent a quick emergency response.

Gardai are attempting to identify the gang involved in the latest cash machine thefts in Ireland which was carried out in Kells, Co Meath, early this morning.  

Two ATMs were ripped from separate banks on the town’s John Street before the raiders fled in separate vehicles.

The digger and tractor used in the raids were stolen overnight in separate counties. The digger was taken from a field in Meath, while the JCB fastrac tractor and trailer, used to transport the excavator to the scene, were stolen in the Louth area.

An alert was issued to gardai in surrounding counties in relation to the robbery and descriptions of the getaway vehicles, but they have not yet been recovered.

Read more here: Four ATMs stolen overnight in Meath, Antrim and Armagh

Two similar robberies of cash machines were carried out in Antrim and Armagh overnight, bringing to 18 the number of ATM raids on both sides of the border so far this year.

Supt Dermot O’Connor, of Kells Garda station, said local officers arrived at the scene within minutes of getting reports of the ATM thefts.

The senior investigator said that efforts were made to delay the garda response- understood to have been spikes placed near the garda station- but these were unsuccessful.

At a press briefing Supt O’Connor said: “This morning at 4.20am Gardai received a call in relation to the theft of ATMs in progress here at John Street in Kells. Gardai responded immediately, arriving at the scene within minutes. On their arrival they found that two ATMs had been ripped from bank premises on John Street and they established that those involved had left the scene in two vehicles.

The scene of two ATM robberies in Kells County Meath.
Pic:Mark Condren
The scene of two ATM robberies in Kells County Meath. Pic:Mark Condren 19.4.2019

“They also found an excavator at John Street, and also a JCB fastrac tractor with trailer attached,” Supt O’Connor said.

“Our inquiries so far have established that the excavator was stolen overnight from a field in Co Meath and the fastrac tractor and trailer were also stolen overnight from the Louth area.  Those involved left the scene in a dark colour crewcab jeep and also a dark colored Volkswagen car.

“A full investigation is underway, a technical examination has taken place and an incident room has been set up at Kells garda station.”

Supt O’Connor also appealed for anyone with information on the robbery or the movements of the stolen ATM and machinery to contact gardai.

“The gardai responded to the scene within minutes. Such was the professional nature in which the crimes were carried out that the thieves had left the area.”

Asked about spikes being placed outside the Garda station to prevent a quick police response, Supt O’Connor said: “There were attempts made but it did not have any effect on the garda response to this incident, as I said the gardai were on the scene within minutes.

“We’re currently liaising in respect of similar crimes in both this jurisdiction and the PSNI in relation to similar crimes, and that certainly will form part of our investigation.”

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