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Police detain serial ATM thieves

THREE men involved in stealing a total of €1.7 million from 13 automated teller machines (ATMs) within a span of four hours on March 28, have been detained and charged, Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar announced on April 2. They were members of an organised group, with an unknown number of accomplices.

THREE men involved in stealing a total of €1.7 million from 13 automated teller machines (ATMs) within a span of four hours on March 28, have been detained and charged, Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar announced on April 2. They were members of an organised group, with an unknown number of accomplices.

The men pulled off their well-organised heist between 19:00 and 23:00 on March 28, starting in Prešov and ending in Svit four hours later, a period when the ATMs would presumably have been stocked for the upcoming holiday, the Plus Jeden Deň daily reported on April 2.

If convicted, the culprits may face up to 15 years in prison.

The gang was in the throes of its 14th heist, which ultimately did not go as planned, Gašpar told a press conference.

“It is clear that they used copies of original keys for the cash-points,” said Gašpar, as quoted by the TASR newswire, and explained that they knew the safe codes as well as the alarm codes that protect the safes in which the ATM money is placed, implying the robbery could have been an inside job.

Gašpar acknowledged the excellent work of police officers in Prešov Region who, during a routine inspection, checked on the passengers of a VW Transporter car that had been used in the robberies.

The perpetrators were clad in black clothing normally used by private security services (SBS). Their clothes did not carry the logo of any such security service, however, according to Gašpar, adding that this aroused the officers’ suspicions that something was not quite right about the people in the car.

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