Detectives investigating the theft of a number of ATM machines in Northern Ireland have arrested a 26-year-old man in the Omagh area on suspicion of theft and attempted theft offences.

Searches were also carried out in the Omagh and Seskinore areas and a number of items have been seized for further examination.

The suspect has been taken to Omagh Police Station where he is being questioned by detectives.

Detective superintendent Rowan Moore from Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Criminal Investigation Branch said: “A 26-year-old man was arrested today in relation to an ongoing investigation into the thefts and attempted thefts of ATMs in the Omagh, Fintona and Irvinestown areas, which took place between December 2018 and March 2019.

“ATM thefts cause loss and devastation, both to the business owners and to the local communities, many of whom are rural and depend on their local ATM provision for access to cash. During our investigation we have seen the positive result of the community and police working together to catch those we believe are responsible for the theft of ATMS. However, we are not complacent and we continue to focus on doing everything we can to catch those responsible for previous incidents and prevent further thefts.

“In the run up to the busy festive period, more people will be visiting ATMs and I would encourage the public to let us know if they see anything suspicious. Construction work is also likely to come to a halt over the holidays and I would encourage those who own or use heavy plant machinery to be mindful of the risk and take every possible step to secure and immobilise machinery. If criminals cannot steal diggers, they cannot tear out ATMs. This will also mean that these expensive pieces of machinery are not destroyed or burnt out.”