Another ATM targeted

2019-01-31 06:21
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It is believed the suspects allegedly gained entry to the building through the roof and ceiling, but were forced to bring their illegal activities to a halt when an alarm went off as they tried to break into the Absa ATM.

Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama, police spokesperson, confirmed the incident, which apparently occurred in the early hours of the morning.

“The incident took place between 00:00 and 00:20,” he related. “It’s alleged three unknown suspects maliciously damaged the top of Absa ATM in an attempt to gain access, but the alarm went off.”

This is the second time an ATM is targeted in the Lwandle policing precinct in the last three months. City Vision reported on an incident which saw the ATM in Vulindlela Street bombed last November (“Lwandle shaken by ATM blast”, 15 November 2018).

A resident, who lives near the business premises and spoke on condition of anonymity, said he was woken by police alerting him to the attempted burglary.

“I first heard dogs barking continuously,” he recalled. “Then there was a knock at my door by the police.

“The officers told me people had broken into the building and they were called to investigate, but they could not find anyone. I accompanied the officers to the scene. When we were about to leave, someone said the suspects were still in there, but we left around 03:00 and did not see anyone.”

According to Gama, the suspects fled the crime scene immediately – and without any loot. “Police were called to the scene and found no-one,” he said. “A case of malicious damage to property was opened.”

When City Vision arrived at the scene just after 08:00, curious onlookers were standing behind the police line.

Police forensic personnel were on the scene combing for evidence.

Some people who wanted to use the ATM were forced to turn around and seek alternatives.

The resident believes the ATMs need to be removed from the business park, as these give people motive to commit crimes.

“The banks wanted to bring services closer to our people, but they’re no longer to the benefit of the community,” he claimed. “There are so many horrible things that happen there, some people even using the premises as a toilet; it is very bad.”

Anyone with information about the suspects or the incident can contact the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Sydney Salakuvunyelwa, on 021 845 2060 or 082 522 3361.

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