NewsCrime Desk

Third time lucky for mob who used compressed gas to steal €100k from ATM

Crime DeskBy Ken Foy
A member of the Gardai at the scene of the robbery yesterday
A member of the Gardai at the scene of the robbery yesterday

A bank that suffered a €100k ATM robbery was in the process of updating its security measures after being targeted by a gang on two previous occasions this year.

It is understood that security measures at the Permanent TSB branch on the main street in Greystones, Co Wicklow, had not been updated despite the two previous incidents, which saw gangsters using gas to attempt to blow up its ATM in the past eight months.

It was a case of third time lucky for the mob at around 4.20am yesterday, when they used compressed gas to blow the machine into the back of the bank.

The raiders then forced their way into the bank through its front door, took the money and fled in a three-car convoy.

"Clearly this gang have had their eye on this bank for some time and have identified a weakness in security there," a source said.

"They made mistakes in how they went about their crimes on the previous occasions but now they managed to get away with €100k," the source added.

Gardai believe between three and six criminals were involved in the raid.

Three cars were captured on CCTV leaving the area, including a high-powered estate vehicle, a light-coloured hatchback and a silver saloon.

No arrests have yet been made but gardai are working on the theory that the same gang is responsible for all three incidents at the Greystones bank.

They are a Traveller gang with links to Ballyfermot and Co Wicklow, who are also suspected of a spate of nationwide burglaries.

At around 4.30am on September 22, the same ATM was targeted when a gang of at least three men rammed the front of the bank, entered the premises and ransacked a number of offices before attempting to blow up the ATM with gas.

However, they were unsuccessful and a Ford Focus, which the gang travelled to Greystones in, was burnt out across the road from the bank.

At around the same time on St Patrick's Day morning, there was an attempt to blow up the ATM at the bank, when criminals used a sophisticated gas system in an attempt to blow out the front of the machine.

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 attempted to smash down the front door of the bank with a sledgehammer, with no success. They made their escape in a silver Audi estate, having caused 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 on that occasion.

Herald