Two arrested after cash machine ripped from wall of Co Antrim service station
Two people have been arrested after a cash machine was ripped from the wall of a service station in Co Antrim this morning.
Thieves used a digger to drag the ATM from the service station on Tully Road at Nutts Corner - the 12th cash machine theft this year.
Police said they received a report at around 3.30am that the ATM was being stolen.
Detective Inspector Richard Thornton said: "We immediately directed considerable policing resources to the area and two arrests were made and the stolen ATM recovered."
"Both people are currently in custody and will be questioned on suspicion of theft and a number of other offences," he said.
The scene of another ATM theft in the early hours of this morning. Two people have been arrested following the theft at a service station on the Tully Road in Nutts Corner. The stolen ATM has been recovered. @BBCNewsNI @BBCgmu @bbcnewsline pic.twitter.com/R8nU6fpfdV— Aileen Moynagh (@Ailser99) April 30, 2019
- Stolen ATMs abandoned after police chase
Tully Road was closed this morning as forensic experts examined the scene.
Police asked anyone with information or who saw any suspicious activity around Nutts Corner overnight to contact them on 101.
Aodhán Connolly, director of the Northern Ireland Retail Consortium, said ATM thefts were not victimless crimes.
"Not only is the individual shop affected by this criminal damage but it sends insurance through the roof for all those who have ATMs," he said.
"That means shop owners whether large or small will question whether or not to have these machines that are a resource for the public, especially in rural areas.
"It is good news that arrests have been made on this occasion and we hope this leads to a further clamp down on those who are attacking the community like this."
A police spokeswoman said they could not disclose the genders of the two people arrested "for investigative reasons".
There has been a spate of ATM robberies in recent months.
So far this year, 15 cash machines have been stolen across Northern Ireland in 12 separate thefts.
Last week, a digger was used to rip two machines from the wall of a Tesco outlet in Ballymena, Co Antrim.
Several days before, two machines were stolen from another Tesco in Crumlin, Co Antrim.
Thieves also made an unsuccessful attempt to steal an ATM from a Costcutter shop in Craigavon.
Earlier this month, a cash machine was ripped from the wall of a petrol station in Dungiven, Co Tyrone.
A specialist PSNI taskforce group has been set up to tackle the crisis but police have said it is difficult to keep track of every machine.