Dramatic footage has emerged of the moment a criminal gang used a stolen digger to tear an ATM machine out of a shop wall in Northern Ireland.
The footage was recorded by CCTV cameras at O'Kane's Centre shop and forecourt in Dungiven in the early hours of Sunday morning (April 7, 2019).
It shows a group of people using the claw of the digger to push a barrier aside before causing extensive damage to the building while ripping the ATM machine out of the building.
A gang of people dressed in dark clothing and seemingly with their faces obscured are also seen operating the cab and another vehicle at the scene.
It is hoped the shocking footage will help provide clues as to the identity of the gang responsible for the attack- the eighth of its kind in Northern Ireland since January.
Police have appealed for anyone with any information about the incident to come forward.
Detective Inspector Richard Thornton branded those behind the incident "brazen thieves".
"The theft from the filling station on Feeny Road was reported to us just before 4:30am. A digger, believed to have been taken from a site a short distance away, was used to rip the machine from the wall at the side of the shop leaving substantial damage to the building," he said, adding:
"On this occasion, the digger was not set alight and was located at the scene.
"I want to appeal to anyone who was in the area and who may have witnessed the theft, or who saw the digger being driven to the scene, to contact us. I would also appeal to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the last few days in the area to call us. If you have information which you believe could assist our investigation please, pick up the phone and call detectives on 101, quoting reference number 357 of 07/04/19."
Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111, which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.
Detective Inspector Thornton confirmed that the theft on Sunday was the eighth ATM theft this year and added: "As in all of these ATM thefts, the actions of these criminals have not only caused immediate financial harm to the business targeted, but they have understandably caused fear in the community and impacted upon a vital service many local people rely on.
“We are doing all we can to catch the people responsible – it is a key priority for us – however, I want to reiterate that the key to stopping these crimes and getting ahead of these criminals is information from the public.
“We need people to report anything suspicious, including seeing any unusual activity or people in areas close to ATMs. For example, if you hear machinery late at night or in the early hours please let us know. If you see any cars being driven in a suspicious manner close to where ATMs are located, please let us know.
“No matter how insignificant you think it is, call us and we will investigate. It could be key to catching the criminals responsible.”