Friday 23 February 2018

Specialist crime unit to target Eastern European gang carrying out multiple attempted ATM robberies


Ken Foy and Wayne O’Connor

A SPECIALIST crime unit has been set-up by Gardaí to target an Eastern European gang carrying out multiple attempted ATM robberies.

The gang have become known for using gas to blow up ATM machines to rob cash.

Gardaí are investigating the gang’s latest botched attempt after they attempted 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 similar 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 the area at 4.30am on Thursday morning when they attempted to free an ATM machine from a bank on Main Street in the town.

After the attempted robbery went wrong they fled the scene and 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 homegrown gang took almost €100,000 after blowing up a machine in Enniscorthy in 2013.

Criminals fired shots at unarmed gardai as they fled.

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