Police probe attempted ATM theft in Ballynahinch
A petrol station's forecourt roof has been torn down in an attempted ATM robbery.
Extensive damage was caused during the raid in Ballynahinch, Co Down, in the early hours of Monday.
Carlisle’s shop and fuel station in Ballynahinch has been badly damaged during an overnight attempt to raid an ATM machine. It’s believed a digger was stolen from a nearby quarry. pic.twitter.com/U3k2hGcv8s— Q Radio News (@qnewsdesk) November 18, 2019
It is suspected the thieves used a digger in a bid to rip the cash machine from the wall of Carlisles filling station and convenience store in Belfast Road.
The road was closed on Monday morning, causing major disruption to rush-hour traffic.
The attack is the latest in a series of ATM raids in Northern Ireland this year.
The latest ATM theft attempt follows a similar incident at the weekend when thieves tried to rip a cash machine from Belfast City Hospital before ramming the shutters of a string of businesses in the city and Lisburn.
Industry organisation Retail NI condemned the latest attacks.
Someone's raised the roof on Carlisle's on Belfast Road, Ballynahinch in an attempt to remove an ATM. Heard a bit of noise around 5.30am pic.twitter.com/pxYanmRL3U— Derek Flack (@barracuda147) November 18, 2019
Chief executive Glyn Roberts said: "Words fail to describe my anger at this disgraceful attempted ATM robbery on one of our members.
"This has caused extensive damage to one of Ballynahinch's largest retailers in the run-up to Christmas.
"This is an independent retailer, who provides an invaluable service to the local community, awakened from his sleep to be told his business is smashed up.
"It is also a new low for these robbers to attack health centres to steal ATMs.
"We would urge all businesses and organisations who have external ATMs to be vigilant and urge members of the public with any information to contact the PSNI."