Gang blows-up another Aberdeen ATM as criminal trend continues



ATMPolice are investigating after thieves blew open an Aberdeen city centre ATM machine in the early hours of Saturday morning in front of astonished onlookers.

Explosives were used to blast the ‘hole-in-the-wall’ out of a wall at the Tesco store.

One resident who watched the heist unfold, said she watched as a gang continued their raid knowing locals and passersby, who had been woken or drawn by a loud “boom”, were watching them.

Officers have not yet revealed how much the gang escaped with.

The heist at the Newtonhill branch of Tesco comes as the latest in a spate of such incidents in the North East of the country, and just months after thieves made off with more than £10,000 from two cash machines at another supermarket in the area.

Two ATMs were found lying at the entrance to Morrisons in Banchory in January, surrounded by broken glass and window frames.

Just a month earlier, two bank machines were targeted in Angus.

And last year, there were raids on ATMs at NewDeer, Oldmeldrum, Inverurie, Ellon, Stonehaven and Aberdeen in the space of just two months.

Several people have been charged and are due to appear at court.

However, the gang behind January’s heist remains at large.

Detective Inspector Stewart Mackie, who is leading the Newtonhill investigation, said it was too early to tell if the crimes were linked, but that officers were keeping an open mind.

Detectives in Merseyside have been liaising with police investigating the Morrisons raid after seven men were jailed in England for the theft of £800,000 from 28 cash machines in banks, post offices and supermarkets.

The Tesco store at the centre of the latest incident, which took place at around 2.30 am, was closed to the public on Saturday morning and reopened around lunchtime.

A spokesman for the supermarket giant said it was co-operating fully with detectives.

Det Insp Mackie said he could not confirm what was used to blast the ATM from the supermarket wall, and that his team was still trying to piece together what had happened.

He appealed for anyone who had seen the estate car in the days leading up to the incident to contact police, or anyone who was in the area that night to come forward if they saw anything suspicious.

“We are also interested to hear from anyone who was on the night bus from Aberdeen that dropped off people coming from town around the time,” he said.

“This was a brazen crime. They not only endangered themselves but they endangered innocent members of the public.”