Northern Ireland news

Derry Centra comes up with radical response to ATM thefts

Centra filling station on the Glenshane Pass in Co-Derry, the main route between Derry and Belfast. The store owners have placed concrete blocks around the ATM cash machine outside the store.Picture Margaret McLaughlin.

A filling station in Co Derry has come up with a radical response to the latest spate of 'smash and grab' ATM robberies, putting large concrete blocks around its cash machine.

The Centra store at the bottom of the Glenshane Pass, near Maghera, took steps to protect the ATM after another filling station in Dungiven had its cash machine ripped from a wall at the weekend - the eighth such theft this year alone with over a dozen since the spate of robberies started last October.

O'Kane's petrol station on Feeny Road in the Co Derry town was targeted at about 4.15am on Sunday.

Thieves stole a digger from a building site and used it to tear the ATM from the side of the filling station, causing substantial damage.

Footage shows a digger driving through a security gate then tearing the ATM machine from the wall of the Centra store, just outside Dungiven at about 4.30am on Sunday.

Last week, there were two separate incidents of cash machine thefts - one outside a shop in Co Antrim and the the wall of a bank in Co Monaghan.

Despite a specialist task force being set up to investigate the raids there has been just one arrest and no charges in relation to the robberies.

The two high brick walls built at each side of the cash machine on the Glenshane Pass - which the owners hope will deter the thieves - has attracting a huge public reaction with people showing up at the shop to be photographed in front of the imposing concrete defence and pictures of the structure going viral online.

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