Digger, tractor and trailer used to steal ATMs in Co Meath

One of the ATMs was taken from an AIB branch in Kells. Photo: Seamus Farrelly.

Latest: Gardaí insist they responded immediately to a call that two ATMs were in the process of being stolen in Kells, Co Meath overnight.

A digger was used to rip the machines from the walls of two banks on the main street in the town at around 4.20am.

A digger was stolen from a field in Co Meath, while a tractor and low loader trailer were stolen from Ardee, Co. Louth.

They were then brought to John Street in Kells where the digger was used to tear the two ATMs from an AIB and Bank of Ireland branch.

The tractor and trailer were used to block off one end of the street

Homemade spikes were placed at Kells garda station, which is 550 metres away, in an attempt to impede the Garda response.

Speaking at the scene today, Superintendent Dermot O'Conner said: "This crime was an organised planned attack on the community of Kells.

This crime is not a victimless crime and will have a significant impact on the community of Kells and the local area over this Easter Bank Holiday weekend.

"I appeal to the local and wider community to support An Garda Síochána and to provide any information to bring these criminals to justice."

A significant amount of damage was caused to both premises and they remain closed. The scene is preserved pending technical examination from Divisional scenes of crime unit.

Gardaí believe those responsible left the scene in a dark coloured crew CAB jeep and a dark coloured Volkswagen car along the Maudlin Road towards Carlanstown on the N52.

They are appealing for any person who saw these vehicles or knows the whereabouts of these vehicles to contact them at Kells Garda Station 046 9280820, the Gardaí Confidential line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Two ATMs were stolen in Kells, Co Meath in the early hours of this morning. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson.

Earlier: Four ATMs stolen in Co Meath and Co Antrim

Four ATMs have been stolen in Co Meath and Co Antrim overnight.

Gardaí have launched an investigation following the robbery of two ATMs from Kells in Co Meath.

The cash machines were stolen from Bank of Ireland and AIB branches at around 4.30am this morning.

Main Street is closed this morning after a digger was used to rip the machines from the walls of the banks.

Initial reports suggest a JCB, tractor and a low loader are blocking the road.

The ATMs were driven away from the town in a dark coloured crew cab jeep.

The jeep left in the direction of the Maudlin Road, towards Carnalstown.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan said he is "very concerned" at the recent robberies and has expressed that concern to the Garda Commissioner.

"He briefed me this morning and assured me that An Garda Síochána are following every lead in their pursuit of those involved. They continue to work closely with their PSNI colleagues to target crime gangs in both jurisdictions."

Gardaí are appealing for information and anyone who can assist their investigation is asked to contact Kells Garda Station on 046 - 9280820, the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.

Meanwhile, two ATMs were also stolen in the village of Crumlin in Co Antrim.

A double ATM was taken from a Tesco store using a digger, tractor and trailer.

The robberies follow a spate of similar raids on both sides of the border in recent months.

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