ATM raid in Germany ends in crash in Utrecht, suspects escape

Police cordon at the Haaksbergen crash siteAn attempt by thieves to break open a cash dispenser using explosives in the German town of Wesel on Monday night resulted in a car chase to Utrecht, Dutch media said on Tuesday.

A police helicopter and dozens of cars took part in the chase along the A12 motorway, which ended when the car – a black Audi – crashed in the Kanaleneiland district of Utrecht.

No-one was arrested and police searched the neighbourhood for the suspects, leading to scores of complaints about the noise. No explosives were found in the car, broadcaster NOS said.

Last year, German banks close to the Dutch border began tightening up security following a surge in attacks on cash dispensers, thought to have been orchestrated by Dutch gangs.


In the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia there were 80 attempts to blow up or crash into ATMs in the first seven months of 2016, compared with 67 in 2015 as a whole. In Lower Saxony there were 67, compared with just 28 in 2015.

Police said last year they suspect the raids are being carried out by a group of Dutch Moroccans who are based in Utrecht and Amsterdam and who have moved into Germany because of increased security at Dutch ATMs. The gang is known as the ‘Audi mob’ because of their habit of stealing fast Audis to make their getaway over the border.

In April, Dutch police have arrested a 28-year-old man on suspicion of blowing up seventeen ATMs in Germany between February and May last year.

In February two alleged members of the ‘Audi mob’ were killed when their car left the Autobahn at high speed.

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