Northern Ireland news

ATM crimes cost more than £800,000

The amount stolen and the cost of damage caused in a series of ATM thefts in County Antrim is more than £800,000, a court has been told.

Details were given at Ballymena Magistrates Court yesterday where bail was refused to a man who police suspect is part of an "organised crime" gang.

Opposing bail a police officer listed ten ATM raids in areas including Ballyclare, Antrim, Glenavy, Mallusk, Ahoghill, Bushmills, Crumlin, Ballymena and Nutts Corner.

In some of the cases the officer outlined how much cash was in the stolen ATMs and how much damage was caused to both properties and diggers which were used in the thefts.

The figure given to the court was at least £800,000 which included over £400,000 cash in the stolen machines.

David Edward McClurkin (35), of Templeton Park, Templepatrick, is charged with conspiracy to steal.

The charge relates to dates between October 27, 2019 - the date of the ATM theft in Ballyclare - and December 6 this year when two ATMs were stolen at Tesco in Antrim town.

McClurkin had previously been remanded in custody in connection with the charge when he appeared at Limavady Magistrates Court.

He appeared via video link from prison at Ballymena Court in connection with a bail application.

The detective constable told the court that during an interview the defendant denied involvement.

The officer said he believed the defendant was part of an "active OCG (organised crime group)."

A defence barrister said in relation to the Crumlin ATM raid the defendant was at a wedding in Belfast and and got a taxi home and added: "That someone would attend a wedding and then engage in an ATM swipe doesn't chime".

The court heard there was a forensic link to McClurkin by way of DNA on a bag found in a vehicle following the Ballymena ATM theft on April 26 this year.

The defence lawyer said McClurkin is a mechanic with his own garage and he had repaired a broken cylinder in relation to that vehicle.

The barrister said the defendant had an alibi in relation to the December 6 ATM theft in Antrim when he was at licensed premises in Belfast.

The defence lawyer said McClurkin's grandmother was willing to put up a £10,000 bail surety.

District Judge Nigel Broderick refused bail and adjourned to case to mid-January.

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