POLICE are investigating a spate of incidents in which thieves have stolen money by using cash trap devices fitted to ATM machines.
Three incidents have been reported at the Sedgefield branch of Barclays, in the village’s Church View, and there have been similar reports in Darlington and the Northumbria Police area.
Police were alerted by staff at the bank in Sedgefield and a cash trap device was recovered on February 9.
Sergeant Brian O’Connor, of Durham Police, said the suspects had been placing the device on the ATM when the bank was closed.
He added: “The device prevents cash being dispensed and, we believe once the suspects have fitted it to a machine, they stay in the vicinity and return to the machine quite quickly, stealing the money and retrieving the device at the same time.
“We believe they are using a car, possibly a white or silver Audi or BMW to come and go from the area.”
Sgt O’Connor urged people using ATMs to be alert and report anything suspicious to their bank, and anyone with information about those responsible for the incidents reported to contact Durham Constabulary on the non-emergency number 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.