POLICE have recovered a double ATM machine that was stolen from commercial premises in Antrim during the early hours of today, Friday, December 6.
The incident happened at the Tesco Extra store in Antrim town cente close to the local courthouse.
The two ATM machines were found dumped just a few miles away.
Detective Inspector Richard Thornton said: “We received a report shortly after 3 am that a digger had been used to steal an ATM unit housing two cash machines at a supermarket on Castle Way in the town, and the digger was on fire.
“Officers responded and, approximately half an hour later, they successfully recovered the ATM unit in the Birch Hill Road area, just a few miles away.
“The public is waking up to the news today that criminals have targeted a community where many rely on this vital resource, and I understand the concern of the public and the business community, and the impact this crime will have on the community and the business itself.
“I want to reassure the community we are doing all we can to catch the perpetrators, however, we also need your help and I would appeal to anyone has any information which may help our investigation to please get in touch with our detectives.
“Our investigation is at an early stage and we are working to establish if this incident is linked to others of a similar nature.
“I want to take this opportunity to appeal to owners of heavy plant machinery to ensure they do everything possible to secure and immobilise equipment.
“If the diggers cannot be stolen, these attacks cannot take place.
“I would also appeal to the public to report anything suspicious to us.
“It is unusual to see a digger out on the roads in the evening or the middle of the night, so if you do see a digger on the road at these times and think something isn’t quite right, please contact us on the non-emergency number 101 and we can check this out.
“Also, if you see people or vehicles loitering in areas close to ATMs, particularly as some shops may be closed, or hear machinery late at night or in the early hours call us.
“If you think a crime is in progress please dial 999.
“In particular, if anyone has any information about this morning’s incident please call 101, and quote reference number 126 of 06/12/19.”
Alternatively information can also be provided by calling the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.