POLICE Scotland were today investigating two attempted raids on cash machines in Aberdeenshire in the latest in a spate of incidents involving ATMs in the North east of Scotland.
The cash machines at the Clydesdale Bank in Stonehaven and the Bank of Scotland in Inverurie were targeted in separate attempted breaks-in within fours hours in the early hours of this morning.
Police Scotland announced last week that a dedicated team of detectives had been formed to probe the series of cash machine raids and robberies in the area following an incident in the early hours of last Friday morning in which damage was caused to a cash machine in Market Street in Ellon in Aberdeenshire.
A force spokeswoman said today that the force was now investigating two further incidents involving attempted break-ins at 3.40am today at the Clydesdale Bank in Ann Street, Stonehaven, and at the Bank of Scotland in Constitution Street, Inverurie, at around 6.50am.
Detective Inspector Graeme Mackie, who is leading the investigation, said: “We are investigating two separate reports of attempted thefts of ATM machines in Stonehaven and Inverurie. At this stage we continue to keep an open mind regarding these recent crimes being linked with the previous ATM crimes, however we have a dedicated team of detectives who are investigating all of the ATM crimes in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.
“This team is complemented by high visibility patrols which are being carried out within Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire specifically for these crimes. We are also working closely with our colleagues in the Merseyside area - who have been investigating similar crimes - to establish who is responsible for these incidents and whether they are linked.”
He added: “I want to appeal to members of the public to contact police with any information they believe could be relevant to our enquiries. Local residents are also urged to report any suspicious activity they see during the evenings and night time to police.”
Meanwhile Police Scotland also announced today that a 26 year-old man from the Elgin area is due to appear at Elgin Sheriff Court in relation to a break-in at the Post Office, in Hopeman Road, Duffus, on 23 October in which an ATM machine was stolen. The cash machine stolen in the raid has since been recovered.