Police are hunting brazen thieves who used a digger to steal two cash machines from a supermarket in Co Antrim.
The ATMs were ripped from the wall of a building at the Asda superstore in Antrim in the early hours of this morning.
Considerable damage was caused to the building as a result.
Detective Sergeant Gray said: “Shortly before 2:10am, it was reported that two ATM machines were removed from the outside of a shop in a retail park in the area. It is believed the cash boxes were taken away from the scene in a white coloured pick up type vehicle and dark coloured four-door saloon car. The structure which contained the ATMs was also damaged during the incident.
“The white coloured Mitsubishi L200 pick up style vehicle (reg number SH61 MHE) is believed to have been stolen from the Ballyeaston village area of Ballyclare shortly before 11:05pm last night (Thursday). The vehicle was later found burnt out on the Tildarg Road area at around 7:20am this morning.
“Police believe that a white coloured canopy which was part of the vehicle at the time it was stolen had been removed and discarded in the area prior to the ATM theft taking place.
“Enquiries are continuing and we would appeal to anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area at the time of the incident, or who may have seen a white coloured canopy in the area to contact detectives on 101, quoting reference number 62 1/2/19.”
Condemning the theft, South Antrim MP Paul Girvan said: “The audacity of such thefts is quite startling and it shows how confident the perpetrators are in both executing the crime but also evading any detection.
“It is vital that anyone with information in relation to this theft brings that to the attention of the PSNI. It is not long since a similar theft occurred in Ballyclare.
“Catching those responsible and serving justice for their crimes is the best deterrent to ensure these thefts cease.”
His DUP colleague, Pam Cameron MLA, added: “The theft of these ATMs will inconvenience many users. We continue to hear about bank closures and the withdrawal of ATMs from shops due to the increase in cost of having them. When they are being targeted by thieves that will only further act as a deterrent for businesses to have them at their property. My hope is that the perpetrators are caught and caught soon.”
A spokesperson for Asda commented: “We are assisting police with their enquiries.
“It is business as usual for the store.”