IT IS believed those behind the dramatic theft of an ATM machine just across the border in Co Monaghan at the weekend may soon strike again along the border.
At around 3am on Sunday morning an ATM was stolen from the wall of the Bank of Ireland on Main Street, Ballybay. At least three men are thought to have been involved, and a digger, that had been towed to the scene in a tractor, was used to remove the ATM.
Gardai said the machinery had been stolen from the Creighanroe area, on the Castleblayney to Keady Road, in the hours prior to the incident.
Afterwards a dark-coloured SUV, possibly a Toyota Land Cruiser, with a trailer was used to take the ATM away.
An Garda Siochana, who are appealing for witnesses, have said that one of the wheels of the trailer was missing.
A silver BMW was also seen leaving with the SUV, with the convoy travelling in the direction of Carrickmacross.
It is not known how much cash was stolen in the theft.
But it is understood that the gang took around 15 minutes to mount the raid and make their escape.
It has since been reported by the Irish Times that some of those involved in the weekend’s theft may have been involved in previous thefts several years ago, and that the authorities fear they may strike again.
A Garda source told the Times the tactics used in the theft were remarkably similar to the methods used by a cross-border gang back in 2011 and 2012.
Gardai and the PSNI at the time believed that gang had been involved in more than a dozen thefts across Fermanagh, Tyrone, Cavan, Monaghan and Armagh.
No one was ever prosecuted for the ATM thefts, which stopped after 2012. The Irish Times reports that gardai now believe some of the members of the previous gang could have been involved
in the Ballybay theft and could strike again.
“The tactics certainly match as does the brazenness,” said their source. “They knew what they were doing.
“These things don’t happen in ones. We’re going to see a repeat of this soon either here or across the border.”
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