Two vehicles were set alight outside Dundalk Garda Station in the early hours of the morning as Gardai attempted to respond to the theft of two ATMs from Clanbrassil Street in the town. Three persons have been arrested by officers in Northern Ireland.
Gardaí say they observed plant machinery and other vehicles travelling in convoy in the area and responded immediately. However, raiders attempted to hinder the response of Garda officers by setting alight the two vehicles as they used a digger and truck to steal the cash machines from the Ulster Bank and AIB banks on Clanbrassil Street – two institutions that are located just metres from eachother. After members from the Gardai Armed Response Unit eventually intercepted the raiders, a chase ensued and the culprits – in a Volkswagen Amorak SUV and a 2014 registered Mercedes red saloon car – crossed the northern border.
As part of the chase, Garda Air Support helicopter and Garda Armed Support Unit attended the scene and coordinated with PSNI units in a cross border pursuit. Two Garda vehicles sustained minor damage. No injuries were reported.
Members from the PSNI received reports about the chase shortly after 3.30am and dispatched units to the Jonesborough area where they located a discarded trailer with two intact ATMS in Mullabawn, Co. Armagh. Officers established that the suspects had entered a property in the Crossmaglen area and, supported by colleagues in the armed support unit, officers attended.
Three men, aged 24, 29 and 57, were arrested on suspicion of handling property stolen in the Republic of Ireland. They are currently in police custody. The scene in Dundalk is currently being preserved by officers.
This raid is the first of its kind in Louth since January when an attempt was made to raid the Bank of Ireland ATM on Main Street in Dunleer, for the second time in a matter of months. On that occasion Gardai, acting on intelligence, intercepted the raiders and gave chase prior to them crossing the border. Before that, an attempt was made to steal the ATM at the Ulster Bank on Irish Street in Ardee – just days before Christmas.