Police to check all north east ATMs after cash machine thefts

Police at scene Police were called to the Scotmid store in Bieldside on Thursday

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Police investigating a recent spate of thefts from cash machines in the north east of Scotland are to check every ATM in the region.

Officers believe thefts in Bieldside and New Deer, and attempts on machines in Oldmeldrum and Inverurie, are linked.

They have appealed for sightings of a dark coloured saloon car thought to have been involved.

The possibility explosives were used to gain access has not been ruled out.

The most recent raid happened at a Scotmid shop in North Deeside Road, in the Aberdeen suburb of Bieldside, in the early hours of Thursday.

Det Inspector Graham Mackie told BBC Scotland that a dark coloured saloon was seen in the area at the time of the incident.

A similar vehicle, with three people inside, was seen close to a bank in New Deer that was targeted earlier in the week.

'Group of males'

Det Insp Mackie said: "That gives us some lines of inquiry to establish if these are indeed linked incidents.

"A number of residents have reported loud banging at the premises and at this stage we are still trying to establish how the automated teller machines were broken into.

"At this stage we don't know if the persons responsible are local to the area or not.

"If they are not local to the area we would ask for members of the public that, if they are aware of anybody that's maybe staying in hotels or other accommodation, and their activity is suspicious, to report that to Police Scotland, particularly if it is a group of males and they have access to a dark coloured saloon vehicle."

He said police had introduced a number of high-visibility patrols in response to the incident, adding: "They will be checking all automated teller machines within the region."

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