British men arrested over ATM robberies at Queensland shopping centres
Two British men have been arrested over a string of ATM robberies across south-east Queensland after they were caught leaving a machine at a shopping centre overnight.
The men were caught by detectives after they allegedly robbed an ATM at the Aspley Hypermarket on Albany Creek Road.
One of the men was bitten by a police dog on the inside of his thigh as he attempted to get away. Later on Tuesday he was under police guard for the “significant bite” at a Brisbane hospital, Organised Crime Investigation Unit Detective Inspector Lance Vercoe said.
The same day police charged a 34-year-old man from Helensvale with offences including four counts of enter a premises and commit an indictable offence.
A 38-year-old Albany Creek man was expected to be charged with nine counts of enter a premises and commit an indictable offence and obstructing police.
Police alleged the men, who were in Australia on work visas, were responsible for attempting to break into and rob nine ATM machines at shopping centres across south-east Queensland from January last year.
Inspector Vercoe said police had been monitoring the men since about October, following a failed ATM robbery at Labrador.
He said the men had allegedly robbed four out of the nine ATMs break-ins and would not detail the total amount of cash stolen, saying it was “significant”.
He said each robbery was the same – the offenders would cut through the tin roof of the shopping centre, through the ceiling and down into the ATM bunker.
Inspector Vercoe said if the offenders were unable to get into the ATM itself within 10 minutes, they would leave.
“They were disciplined enough to know if they couldn’t get in in the first 10 or 15 minutes then they would get off site,” he said.
Police have been unable to recover any of the money stolen from the Suncorp ATMs and Inspector Vercoe said officers were working to identify why Suncorp had been targeted.
“We still have to identify what that link is … we are hopeful when we question these offenders we could get a better understanding of where that came from,” he said.
“We had a very good working relationship with Suncorp.
“In the background they undertook a lot of security measures that increased security around ATMs being targeted.
“It doesn’t make the ATMs impossible to get into but it delays how long you can get into them.”
Search warrants were being executed and a financial investigation was under way to find the stolen cash.
Inspector Vercoe said the nine break-ins had equated to about $250,000 in damages.
He said officers would speak with interstate and international colleagues who may have similar unsolved offences committed in their area.