Page last updated at 15:53 GMT, Wednesday, 21 October 2009 16:53 UK

Digger used in new ATM theft bid

Scene of robbery
A digger was used during a robbery in Warrenpoint on Sunday

Thieves have used a digger to try to steal a cash machine from outside a shop in Ardglass, County Down.

It is the third such incident in Northern Ireland in the last four days.

The latest was reported at about 0330 BST on Wednesday. The ATM had been removed from the wall but was left at the scene.

A similar attempt was made in Moy, County Tyrone, on Tuesday morning while a cash machine was stolen from a petrol station in Warrenpoint on Sunday.

The Moy incident, which happened at about 0400 BST on Tuesday, involved a gang of five or six men at a shop at Charlemont Street. The cash machine was slightly damaged, but the thieves left empty-handed.

Detectives believe the gang stole the digger from road works and also used a flatbed lorry. The digger was abandoned at the scene and the lorry was found at Granville.

On Sunday, six hooded men stole an ATM, containing a substantial amount of money, from a filling station at Upper Dromore Road in Warrenpoint at about 0315 BST.

They used a digger, which was parked nearby, to demolish the wall surrounding the machine.

Police believe the ATM was then loaded onto a white pick-up truck and driven away.

The digger used in Wednesday's attempted theft had been stolen from a nearby construction site.

When police arrived on the scene its engine was still running but the three thieves had fled.

Police have said they are not currently linking the three incidents, but said their investigations were at an early stage.

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