12 apartments in Groningen evacuated after thieves blow up an ATM

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Police cordon at the Haaksbergen crash siteSeveral families had to be evacuated from their homes in Groningen on Thursday night after thieves tried to blow up an ATM in the wall of the block of flats where they lived.

The explosion caused major damage to the front of the building and officials decided that 12 flats above the ATM should be evacuated.

The thieves left the scene on a moped and police have since arrested one suspect. It is unclear if they actually got away with any money.

The public prosecution department said in April it is going to increase its sentencing demands for ram raiders and people who blow up ATMs.

The current guidelines sentence is 15 months in jail for both offences, but the risk to both people and property is considerable, hence the need for tougher sentences, the public prosecutor said.

In particular, thieves are using increasingly powerful explosives to blow up ATMs and this has increased the risk of buildings collapsing.

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