Device found at ATM robbery attempt

Published Thursday, 05 June 2014
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The army bomb squad had to be called out to the scene of an attempted ATM machine theft in Co Armagh after reports of a loud bang in the area.

It happened at a filling station on Annareagh Road, Hamiltonsbawn at 2.30am on Thursday.

Officers attended and discovered a suspect device close to the ATM.

Army bomb experts made the device safe and removed it for further examination.

Police believe the culprits left the area in a vehicle, driving in the direction of Markethill.

A black Audi car was found abandoned on the Gosford Road a short time later.

Police are appealing to anyone who noticed suspicious activity to contact them.

They are particularly keen to hear from anyone who noticed a Volkswagen Passat or black Audi car, travelling between Hamiltonsbawn and Newry, prior to and after this incident.

Detectives can be contacted on the new non-emergency number 101.

The attempted theft has been condemned by local political representatives.

William Irwin, Newry & Armagh DUP MLA, said: "This is a ridiculous attack and when you see the amount of metal which has been strewn across the forecourt and the close proximity of homes it is certainly a relief that no one was injured.

"Part of the ATM which was blown off landed on the road way so this was a very irresponsible and despicable act and hopefully the PSNI can track down those responsible. The ATM is a useful resource for local people and now they will be without local access to cash which will of course be a real inconvenience."

Sinn Féin councillor Mary Doyle has said that the use of an explosive device during an attempted robbery is a worrying development.

"It is worth bearing in mind that this means that the rural community of Hamiltonsbawn will be deprived of this vital service for the foreseeable future until a new ATM is installed.

"I would urge anyone with information to bring this to the police."

UUP MLA Danny Kennedy said: "This act of criminality involving explosives shows the lengths that some are prepared to go to steal money.

"I have spoken to the owner this morning to express my concern. This attempt to break into the ATM has left behind destruction and disruption to the local community who use the facility."

© UTV News
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