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Thieves attempt a daring dawn raid on cash machine

Suzanne McGonagle s.mcgonagle@irishnews.com

A CCTV footage has captured thieves using a lorry to ram a Co Derry petrol station as they attempted to steal a cash machine.

The dramatic recording shows a lorry without a trailer being reversed into the building in Articlave, close to Castlerock.

The thieves stole the vehicle in Coleraine and drove it to the filling station on the Mussenden Road in an attempts to remove the ATM at around 4.30am.

They rammed the lorry into the building, damaging the wall which enclosed the cash machine.

But they made off from the scene empty-handed.

The lorry, which had been stolen from Newmills Road in Coleraine, was recovered in the Garvagh Road area a short time afterwards and taken away for forensic examination.

Jason Maguire, the shop's owner, said the building was extensively damaged.

"A lot of people very much depend on us, it's a free cash machine.

"We are really going to be struggling now without this, it's going to be a major expense, we want to just get the shop back on the road and keep all our customers happy," he told UTV.

The Northern Ireland Independent Retail Trade Association last night called for urgent action by the PSNI.

"The criminals behind this attack are attempting to steal from the community itself," said chief executive Glyn Roberts.

"For some time we have been concerned with the growing volume of these attacks against our members and the severe financial costs to independent retailers as a result of them.

"We have received numerous reports of members seeing their insurance premiums soar after these attacks.

"NIIRTA has requested meetings with the PSNI Chief Constable, Policing Board and justice minister to press for a more effective coordinated approach to address these types of attacks and general crime against retailers."

There have been a number of attempts to steal cash machines over the summer months.

Thieves set up a gas explosion to try to steal an ATM at a supermarket in Keady, Co Armagh in May. The blast damaged the ATM's front panel and door.

In the same month, an ATM was stolen in Carrickmore, Co Tyrone.

In June, thieves tried to break into a cash machine in Hamiltonsbawn, Co Armagh by placing an explosive device on it.

The gang also used spray paint to black out security lights.

Thieves also stole a cash machine from a filling station in Donaghmore, Co Tyrone in March using a digger.

* DAMAGE: The aftermath of an attempted theft at an ATM at a petrol station on the outskirts of Articlave village in Co Derry in the early hours of yesterday morning. A lorry involved in the failed theft was found several miles away after 5am on Friday morning

PICTURE: Margaret McLaughlin

* RAM-RAID: CCTV footage captured the attempted robbery of an ATM at a Co Derry filling station. Thieves used a lorry to ram the wall around the machine but left empty handed

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