Explosives used to steal from high street ATM machine in ‘extremely reckless’ raid

‘Unknown quantity’ of money seized from cashpoint, police say

Andy Gregory
Sunday 25 October 2020 21:41 GMT
The ATM was in Chapel Street, Southport
The ATM was in Chapel Street, Southport

Explosives have been used to plunder cash from a high street ATM machine in a bid labelled “extremely reckless” by police.

An “unknown quantity” of money was stolen from the cashpoint in Southport, Merseyside Police said.

Officers and firefighters were first called after an alarm went off at WH Smith on Chapel Street, the town’s pedestrianised high street, at 2am on Sunday.

Police have been examining CCTV footage and looking for forensic evidence and potential witnesses.

“This is an extremely reckless way to target any premises, one which puts members of the public who live, work and were passing nearby at risk of serious injury," said Detective Inspector Tara Denn. 

The damage and inconvenience to the business is also significant, Det Insp Denn said.

“We have shown before in successful operations, regionally and nationally, that we will bring to justice those identified in such activity," she added.

“If you saw or heard any suspicious activity in and around Chapel Street at around 2am, or if you live locally and have home CCTV or dashcam, please check and let us know. 

“We will do all in our powers to remove these reckless people from the streets.”

In 2019, five men were jailed for more than 45 years after using explosives to steal nearly £430,000 in a series of raids on 15 cash machines in Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Wales.

At the time of the sentencing, Sarah Staff, who runs the British Security Industry Association’s SaferCash initiative, said there had been a “significant national increase in physical attacks against ATMs”.

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