Northern Ireland

Two cash machines stolen from Antrim supermarket

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A double cash machine has been recovered after it was stolen from a supermarket in Antrim overnight.

The incident happened at a Tesco Extra in the town centre.

Police received a report a digger had been used to steal the unit housing two cash machines at about 03:00 GMT on Friday.

The machines were recovered by police on Birch Hill Road, a few miles away from the supermarket, about 30 minutes later.

What is going on with cash machine thefts?

Det Insp Richard Thornton said the cash machine was a "vital resource" locally and the crime would have an impact on the "community and business itself".

'Lock up equipment'

He said officers were working to establish if the incident was 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," he said.

"If the diggers cannot be stolen, these attacks cannot take place."

He also called on the public to report anything suspicious, including diggers on the road during the night, the sound of machinery during the night, or people loitering close to cash machines.

Northern Ireland saw a spate of cash machine robberies earlier in the year, with eight ripped from walls by diggers between the start of the year and mid-April.

In recent weeks there have been attempted thefts in County Down and Belfast.

Police have previously said they believe not all the incidents are linked and more than one gang is responsible.

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