Friday 31 March 2023

Four men caught red-handed at border after cashpoint raid in Germany

The damaged cashpoint in Mülheim an der Ruhr. Photo: Polizei Essen

A Dutch gang suspected of blowing up an ATM machine in a German town have been caught red-handed at a border crossing.

Robbers targeted a cashpoint in a shopping centre in Mülheim an der Ruhr, around 50 kilometres from Venlo, at 4am last Friday, causing extensive damage.

They made off in a dark-coloured Mercedes, carrying armfuls of cash stained by a security dye that was triggered when the machine was attacked.

German police found the burned-out vehicle near the scene around 15 minutes later, but no trace of the criminals. But that afternoon Dutch police stopped a car crossing the border into the Netherlands containing four men aged between 21 and 23.

Inspections of the vehicle found large quantities of stained banknotes. The hands and clothing of the men also showed traces of dye. One of the suspects had serious injuries that needed to be treated in hospital.

Police in the German city of Essen said they were investigating whether the men were responsible for the cashpoint raid earlier in the day.

Nearly 500 cashpoints in German towns and villages close to the Dutch border have been destroyed in suspected attacks by criminals in the past year. Police believe they are attractive to gangs based in the Netherlands and Belgium because cash is still commonly used in Germany, so ATM machines have to be kept well stocked.

Earlier this month nine men aged between 25 and 41 were arrested in a series of raids at various locations in the Netherlands and Belgium, in a joint operation by Dutch and German police.

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