Cops follow footprints in the snow to ATM suspects, court hears
Joseph Tomlinson (28) and Jordan Stewart (24) were detained after an alarm went off at a supermarket in Kells in the early hours of Friday
Two men accused of trying to steal cash from an ATM were arrested after footprints in the snow led police to a home in Co Antrim, a court has heard.
Joseph Tomlinson (28) and Jordan Stewart (24) were detained after an alarm went off at a supermarket in Kells in the early hours of Friday.
Officers tracked the movements of a jeep said to have been used by the defendants, who allegedly tried to use cutting equipment and blow torches to break into the cash machine.
Ballymena Magistrates Court was told while a snow storm made a high-speed pursuit impossible, officers were led to a property on Fernisky Road, outside the village.
With the jeep allegedly used in the incident found crashed, police followed snow footprints “for several hours through fields, hedges and over barbed-wire fences”, eventually leading to a house.
Inside they found the defendants, Stewart’s father and a pile of wet clothes.
A detective told the hearing both the accused said they had been walking a dog for around 10 minutes but added: “This dog was dry, not wet, as would be expected if walking in snow.”
When the crashed jeep was searched, police found cutting equipment, a blow torch and a gas canister in the boot.
The court was told that when arrested and interviewed, Stewart, from Wakehurst Court in Ballymena, and Tomlinson, from Ballysillan Avenue in Belfast, denied involvement but refused to answer the majority of police questions.
They are charged with attempting to steal the contents of the ATM and burglary of the ATM.
Police objected to bail because of the risk of offences and because “there may be anger” in the local community.
The detective told the court despite the pair having clear records, there was clearly “organising and planning” in the alleged theft.
Both were freed on £500 bail but ordered to observe a curfew. They are also barred from contacting each other and Stewart’s father and are banned from entering Kells.
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