A senior police officer in Northern Ireland has warned there is still a significant threat to sites with ATMs after two men were arrested following the theft of a cash machine from a forecourt in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Speaking on April 30, detective superintendent Rachel Shields said: “During the early hours of this morning police arrested two men following the theft of the cash machine from a service station at Nutts Corner.

“At around 3.30am we received reports from a number of vigilant members of the public that a digger was being used to remove an ATM from the premises on the Tully Road. We immediately directed a significant number of resources to the area. Two men, aged 26 and 31, were detained and remain in custody being questioned on suspicion of theft and a number of other offences.

“It was as a result of this information from the public that we were able to make these arrests and also recover the stolen ATM. I would like to thank the local people and also take this opportunity to renew our appeal for any suspicious activity noticed around ATMs or building sites to be reported to police on 999.”

There have been more than 10 attacks targeting ATMs in Northern Ireland this year and the Police Service of Northern Ireland has set up a special team to combat the crimes.

DS Shields added: “This morning’s arrests demonstrate how the community and police can successfully work together to tackle crime. However, this does not mean we will be complacent as we recognise there are a number of gangs carrying out these attacks on ATMs and the threat of more thefts is very real. Every single one of these attacks impacts the community significantly – denying access to money and on many occasions causing inconvenience as the shop or filling station is forced to close for repair.

We will continue to do all we can to catch those responsible. Tonight again we will have local police patrolling areas which could be vulnerable to an attack and detectives remain dedicated to investigating the thefts that have taken place. I assure you this remains a key priority for police.”