Two cash machines stolen from Antrim Tesco

Police have recovered a double ATM machine that was stolen from a shopping centre in Antrim.

The incident happened in the Castle Way area of the town in early hours of Friday morning.

Police reported that a digger was used to steal the ATM unit that housed two cash machines.

When officers arrived at the scene the digger was on fire.

Around thirty minutes later, police recovered the stolen ATM unit in the Birch Hill Road area, just a few miles from the scene.

Detective Inspector Richard Thornton said: "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."

Detective Inspector Thornton continued: "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.

"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."

  • Watch Sara O'Kane's report: