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The County You Live, Work And Play

Raiders Steal More Than £10,000


Police leading the investigation say an ATM at the Royal Bank of Scotland in Lesmahagow was targeted at 4am on Sunday, May 3 after "a bit of planning".

They have appealed to locals in the village who may have heard a "loud bang" or the sound of cars speeding from the scene.

Detective Inspector John Lamb, of Wishaw CID, confirmed that "a five figure sum of money" was stolen.

He said: "The bank is in a quiet village but is surrounded by a small number of homes. There would have been noise from any vehicles involved and indeed from the break in.

"Did you hear a loud bang around 4am on Sunday morning or did you see a car travelling at speed from the bank at that time?

"It was a rather audacious robbery. It would have needed a bit of planning and more than one person to carry it out; therefore, I think that those responsible would have had to have been in the area maybe in the days before the robbery.

"If you saw someone in or around that bank that you thought a bit suspicious or you didn't recognise, then please get in touch.

"This is also the same for any vehicles that may have been in the area that were out of place. It might seem insignificant to you but may be significant to our enquiries."

Witnesses can contact officers at Wishaw CID by calling 101 or by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where details can be given in confidence.

Police Scotland have confirmed that chemicals were used to cause an explosion that blasted the ATM apart. Detectives say they haven’t ruled out a link to notorious fugitives thought to be behind three similar raids in north-east Scotland this year.

Police believed the raids were the handiwork of a gang led by on-the-run thieves from Merseyside, the two men are the last robbers at large of a nine-strong gang who raided 31 ATMs across the UK.

A police spokeswoman added: “We can confirm the use of chemicals which cause an explosion. The machine wasn’t rammed.”

Detectives are looking for links with three similar robberies in January.

Raiders ripped out ATMs from an RS McColl at Byron Square, Aberdeen, and a Morrisons supermarket in Banchory, Aberdeenshire.

The same gang then used explosive gas to blast open an RBS money unit in Kirriemuir, Angus – escaping with £100,000.

All the attacks happened between January 18 and 21. Police have made no arrests.

Mugshots of the on-the-run thieves have already been issued in a bid to track them down.

One of them is suspected of stealing £800,000 and is believed to be hiding in Scotland after he fled Merseyside.

While the other jumped bail and is also on the run. Detectives believe he may be in Spain. He was held in Spain last year before fleeing bail.

Last year, seven members of the gang were sentenced to a combined total of 114 years in jail over a string of ATM robberies in England.

All seven were part of a group responsible for ATM attacks at 28 premises – including banks, post offices and supermarkets – in Cheshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and Derbyshire.

The thieves netted about £800,000 with more than £480,000 of damage to properties.

As part of the robbery, the criminals pumped gas into two holes found on each ATM. The gas was then detonated, forcing open a large hinged door.

Thieves then forced their way into the building to ransack the gaping rear of the cash machine.

It’s understood the gang use the chemical compound acetylene in their raid.