1. ITV Report

ATM stolen in Bushmills recovered on rural road

The scene of the ATM theft in Bushmills, Co Antrim. Credit: UTV

An ATM ripped from the wall of a building in the Co Antrim village of Bushmills has been recovered on a rural road near Dunluce Castle on the North Coast.

A digger and tractor had been used in the theft of the cash machine and were found set alight at the scene at Market Square at about 3.30am on Tuesday.

Police confirmed that the ATM was recovered later in the day.

The theft – just one of a spate of such incidents across Northern Ireland in recent months – has caused major disruption to the Bushmills community.

Significant damage was caused to the building were the ATM was located.

A café next door escaped structural damage, but was still forced to close for the day.

Its owner, Geoffrey McKillop, said the cash machine was depended on by locals and tourists alike.

The village sees plenty of visitors, given its proximity to tourist attractions like the Giant’s Causeway and locations used in hit TV series Game Of Thrones.

“Utter disbelief that this could happen in Bushmills,” Mr McKillop told UTV.

“At this time of year, coming into Easter week, it’s vital with the tourists coming into the village and even for locals, pensioners trying to access money without going into banks…

“It’s a vital lifeline for the shops as well.”

We are doing all we can to catch the people responsible and stop these attacks.

– PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Dunny McCubbin

The impact of such incidents is also being felt by those who have had plant or farm machinery stolen and destroyed.

Police are urging anyone who sees anything suspicious, including the late-night movement of such vehicles, to contact them on 101.

Anyone with information can also pass it anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

PSNI Detective Chief Inspector Dunny McCubbin said: “Following the theft of an ATM which was stolen from premises in Bushmills earlier this morning, we have now recovered the machine and examinations are now being carried out.

“This ATM theft was the ninth this year and I understand the concern of the public and the business community.

“As in all of these ATM thefts, the actions of these criminals have not only caused immediate financial harm to the business that was targeted, but they have caused devastation to the local community.”

DCI McCubbin added: “I want to reassure the public that we continue to take this matter extremely seriously.

“I understand the fear that these attacks are causing, and the damage that is left in the wake of each theft.

“Last month, we increased the amount of resources dedicated to tackle this issue and local police patrols are actively patrolling vulnerable and high risk locations. We also continue to work with partners in the banking and retail sectors regarding crime prevention.”