Police have warned retailers that their ATM is at risk following a spate of violent robberies across the UK.
- Bristol: Retailers David Andrews and Andrew Crabb’s ATM is blown up, wrecking the front of the store (pictured)
- Manchester: Aamir Malik of Costcutter beats away a gang of masked robbers who tried to rip out his ATM using a 4×4 and a rope
- Doncaster: A store was ramraided using a 4×4 in a bid to escape with the cash machine
Raiders targeted several convenience stores over the Christmas and New Year period, using 4x4s and ropes to rip cash machines out of shop fronts, and even blowing an ATM up to get to the cash inside.
Aamir Malik, who runs a Costcutter in Withington, Manchester, was also targeted by raiders last month. He told Retail Express he was left “shocked and scared” after fighting off thieves with a stick as they tried to tie a rope around his ATM in his store and pull it out of the ground using a 4×4 vehicle.
He said: “We’d only had the cash machine in the shop since the summer. It was scary, but I didn’t want to let them get away with it.”
David Andrews and Andrew Crabb, of Long Ashton Post Office near Bristol returned early from holiday on January 4 to see the front of their shop had been obliterated by criminals who blew up the store’s ATM. They said: “We were devastated to hear the news.”
Police fear that raids on cash machines are rising because sentences are less severe than those for armed attacks on individuals.
One top policeman said: “They can mug someone with an imitation gun for £20 but they risk getting sent down for a long time. For them it’s far more lucrative to go for a cash machine.
“No weapons are required. All it takes is for one to come off and potentially you have made anything up to £80,000. There are more and more cash machines for our convenience but some are in quite vulnerable positions.”
Margaret McCloskey, head of operations at the NFRN, urged retailers to place ATMs prominently for the customer to see, but if possible, not near the entrance or against an external wall to deter any possible theft plans.
“It takes a lot of planning and manpower to move an ATM, therefore, retailers within the NFRN have notices up stating ‘this ATM is emptied after closing hours’ as a means of deterring possible plans,” she added.
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