Local News

Three men arrested over ATM thefts

clunes front end loader atm theft 3 march 2019 pic by hepburn shire 52920249_2268891886714383_5842258564650893312_o.jpg

Three men were arrested this morning following several burglaries and thefts of ATMs in western Victoria.

A 34-year-old from Wendouree, 38-year-old from Haddon and a 41-year-old from Brown Hill were arrested around 7am following the execution of five warrants at King Street in Ballarat East, Head Street at Wendouree, Spring Court in Corindhap, Wilsons Road in Haddon and Ryan Street at Brown Hill.

The arrests follow an extensive investigation into seven burglaries, thefts and attempted thefts on a variety of business premises including:

- A community centre in Beaufort on 29 November 2018

- A bookshop in Creswick on 14 December 2018

- An op shop in Skipton on 15 December 2018

- A bank in Dunkeld on 29 December 2018

- A community centre in Lake Bolac on 29 December 2018

- A marina in Queenscliff on 13 January 2019

- A newsagency in Clunes on Monday 4 March 2019

Police say on each occasion it is alleged the thieves targeted ATMs with either heavy equipment vehicles used to crash through street shop fronts, or equipment used to force entry to the premises.

It is alleged a substantial sum of money was stolen during some of the break-ins.

Detectives have seized a number of firearms, cars, grinders, a sledgehammer and items believed to be related to the ATM thefts.

The trio are currently assisting police with their enquiries and are expected to appear at Ballarat Magistrates’ Court later today.

Armed Crime Squad detectives made the arrests with the assistance of Ballarat Divisional Response Unit.