Northern Ireland news

Police investigating theft of two ATM machines from Antrim shopping centre

A digger was used to steal two cash machines at the Asda store in Antrim. Picture by Arthur Allison/Pacemaker Press

POLICE are investigating the theft of two ATM machines from a shopping centre in Antrim.

A large digger was used to remove the machines from the side of an Asda supermarket on the Ballymena Road during the early hours of yesterday.

Forensic officers spent several hours at the scene and the digger used in the theft was removed for examination. The Asda store was open as usual yesterday.

A PSNI spokesman said the theft was reported at 2.10am.

"It is believed the cash boxes were taken away from the scene in a white coloured pick-up type vehicle and dark coloured four-door saloon car," he said.

"The structure which contained the ATMs was also damaged during the incident."

He said police believe the white Mitsubishi L200 pick-up was stolen in the Ballyeaston Village area of Ballyclare on Thursday night and was found burnt out on Tildarg Road yesterday morning.

Police believe a white coloured canopy, which was part of the vehicle at the time it was stolen, had been removed and discarded in the area prior to the ATM theft taking place.

"Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area at the time of the incident, or who may have seen a white coloured canopy in the area to contact detectives," he added.

DUP MP Paul Girvan condemned those who carried out the theft.

"The audacity of such thefts is quite startling and it shows how confident the perpetrators are in both executing the crime but also evading any detection," he said.

"It is vital that anyone with information in relation to this theft brings that to the attention of the PSNI.

"It is not long since a similar theft occurred in Ballyclare. Catching those responsible and serving justice for their crimes is the best deterrent to ensure these thefts cease."

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