NI man arrested in ATM theft investigation

A man with an address in Northern Ireland has been arrested in Co. Monaghan as part of a Garda investigation into a series of ATM thefts and attempted thefts last year.

Gardaí attached to Monaghan Garda Station, supported by the Special Detective Unit (SDU), arrested the man, aged in his 20s, yesterday, Monday, January 6 in Castleblayney, for an offence contrary to Section 73 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006.

He is currently being detained at Monaghan Garda Station under Section 50 of the same act.

Also in relation to the same investigation, officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), in support of the Gardaí, carried out a search in the Crossmaglen area of Co. Armagh.

The Gardaí and PSNI are working together under the Joint Agency Task Force (JATF). The task force comprises a number of authorities and organisations in Ireland and the UK.

These include, on the Irish side, the Gardaí; Revenue Commissioners, the Garda National Immigration Bureau; and the Criminal Assets Bureau; and on the UK side, the PSNI; Revenue and Customs; Home Office Immigration Enforcement; and the National Crime Agency.

The JATF is designed to facilitate cross-border co-operation across a range of policing areas.

The spring months of 2019 saw a spate of ATM robberies on both sides of the border, with counties Cavan, Monaghan and Meath being affected, among others.

Typically, the criminals involved would pull the ATM out of a wall with (sometimes stolen) plant machinery, before loading it on to a getaway vehicle.

The series of incidents progressed to the point where Gardaí were forced to issue a warning to plant machinery owners in the border region to make sure their machines were stored securely and not left in an area that was easily accessible.