Anonymous caller claims to be mastermind behind spate of ATM thefts

A special team of detectives set up to combat the surge in ATM thefts in Northern Ireland is investigating boasts made by a man who claims to be involved.

In a telephone call to the News Letter on Tuesday, the man claimed that a team of anti-capitalists was behind most of the brazen thefts – using plant machinery to rip the cash dispensers out of buildings.

A digger burned out after an ATM theft

A digger burned out after an ATM theft

There have been eight such ATM thefts in Northern Ireland this year and police believe at least two criminal gangs are involved.

The caller, who spoke with an English accent, said: “All sorts of scams are done on a daily basis by people wearing suits and ties. We are just getting our slice of the cake and that is the way we see it. The money in those machines is our money and we are taking it.”

The PSNI’s special task force was established in February using officers drawn from the organised crime branch.

They mystery caller went on to say that his gang was using the latest technology to stay one step ahead of the police.

ATM theft

ATM theft

“We know when the police are going to be tied up with certain jobs. We know exactly where they are when we are operating,” he said.

However, the self-professed criminal declined to prove his involvement by offering any snippet of information that would be known only to the criminals involved and police.

Chief Inspector David Henderson said: “We are aware of reports to local media outlets by a person claiming responsibility for recent ATM raids and this information will be investigated accordingly.”