DVD shows dramatic raid on Centra store

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A dramatic video released by the police shows that the only ‘gain’ in an attempted ram raid on an ATM near Portadown was “substantial burns” sustained by one of the gang of three.

The abortive theft was at Centra on the main road to Armagh. And, in obvious frustration, the criminal who drove a telescopic digger against the machine set it ablaze before being driven off by his fellow thieves.

But the footage – which can be viewed on our website - clearly shows that the flames backfired onto the unsuccessful robbery, and police are convinced that his burns could lead to a conviction.

Detective Inspector (DI) Jill Duffie said, “We believe he may have sustained burn injuries which required medical attention.”

The PSNI are appealing to any first aider or medical person who treated the man immediately after the raid, at 3am on the morning of October 22, to get in touch.

The digger – a Manitou telescopic telehandler – was stolen from a building site in Moy the previous day. Police are appealing to anyone who may know about its travels to Centra to get in touch with them.

The driver is seen on DVD steering the machine towards the ATM, but its progress is slowed down by the high kerbs in front of the ATM and police believe that is why it failed to remove it from the wall.

Said DI Duffie, “The white getaway Transit van – containing the other two men – then appeared on the scene, the driver of the digger set his vehicle alight and they sped away.” The footage indicated that they drove off towards Portadown and police say that someone travelling on the road may have vital evidence.

She added this was the third such ATM attack in E Division since June, and all three had failed – one in Hamiltonsbawn where bollards had protected the machine and another in Keady where the thieves again left empty-handed. Two men have been charged in connection with the Hamiltonsbawn incident.

DI Duffie urged garages and stores with ATMs to seek professional advice.