Thieves withdrew an entire ATM from a store in Northern Ireland by using a stolen excavator to rip the machine from a brick wall, before trying to jam it into a van with part of its roof cut out.
The brazen theft happened early Sunday in the small town of Dungiven in Northern Ireland. According to police, the suspects managed to drive the heavy construction equipment from a nearby site, where it was “used to rip the machine from the wall at the side of the shop leaving substantial damage to the building.”
Video shows one suspect operating the yellow digger, using it to smash the wall before ripping the machine out with the bucket.
“I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area and who may have witnessed the theft, or who saw the digger being driven to the scene, to contact us,” Police Service of Northern Ireland said in a statement.
The footage shows the thieves using the excavator to stuff the entire machine through a cut-out in the roof of a black van before driving away with the ATM sticking out from the top.
“The men who did this are just scumbags,” the store owner told the Irish Times. “There are going to be less and less ATMs about now because of these attacks. There is one basically happening every week now.”
Police inspector Richard Thornton said it was the eighth ATM theft this year.
“As in all of these ATM thefts, the actions of these criminals have not only caused immediate financial harm to the business targeted, but they have understandably caused fear in the community and impacted upon a vital service many local people rely on,” he said in a statement.
Police are asking the public to stay vigilant and report any suspicious activity.
“If you hear machinery late at night or in the early hours please let us know. If you see any cars being driven in a suspicious manner close to where ATMs are located, please let us know,” Thornton said.
The shop owner told the Irish Times he won’t be getting the ATM replaced “and that will be the local community losing out.”
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