herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Gang rams bank with car before trying to blow up ATM with gas

Customers outside the bank
Customers outside the bank

A gang used a car to ram the front of a Permanent TSB bank on the main street of a Co Wicklow town and then attempted to blow up its ATM with gas.

The incident happened in Greystones, Co Wicklow, shortly after 4am yesterday when at least three men broke into the bank offices through its front doors.

A number of offices in the bank were "ransacked" but no cash was taken in the incident.

Attempts to blow up the ATM with an explosive gas mix, which is suspected to contain acetylene and oxygen, were unsuccessful.

Gardai were alerted when the raiders set off an alarm in the bank.

A Ford Focus car, which was used by the raiders, was burnt out on the road opposite the bank and gardai seized two crowbars from the scene.

The raiders escaped in a second vehicle and no arrests have been made.

The bank remained closed yesterday as gardai investigated the incident.

This is the second time in the last six months that the same bank has been targeted by a criminal gang.

Gardai are investigating if the two crimes, which happened at almost exactly the same time of the morning, are linked.

On the morning of St Patrick's Day, criminals used a sophisticated gas system in an attempt to blow out the front of the machine.

Crowbar

On that occasion, two men attempted to prise the ATM open with a crowbar. After a number of attempts with the crowbar, they used a gas canister to try to blow out the machine.

They also tried to smash down the front door of the bank using a sledgehammer, with no success. They made their escape in a silver Audi estate after causing significant damage to the ATM and the door of the building.

After the attempted robbery went wrong, the raiders fled the scene but were spotted by a pensioner.

They veered their car towards him but he managed to escape unharmed. They left without any cash but caused considerable damage to the ATM and the front of the bank.

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