Utrecht men arrested over string of German ATM explosions

Arrest (Photo: Politie) policeArrest (Photo: Politie)

Police in Utrecht arrested two men suspected of involvement in a rash of attempted robberies where heavy explosions were triggered at German cash machines. The pair are also suspected of torching the escape vehicles used in the crimes.

The two men are both from Utrecht, and are 22 and 23 years of age. They first became suspects in the crimes after arrests were made at an attempted robbery and explosion in Heiligenhaus, Germany this past April.

Investigators on both sides of the border worked to link the Utrecht duo to several robberies and attempted robberies from October 2018 to March 2019, Dutch police said. They were taken into custody on Tuesday, and three private residences were searched by authorities.

Between January and April 2019 alone, some 82 German ATM bombings were tied to Dutch suspects, and 98 more were connected to people in the Netherlands in all of 2018. Police did not say how many ATM blasts were linked the two men arrested this week.

A group of about 250 suspected criminals in the Utrecht region were reportedly responsible for stealing fast Audi vehicles, burglarizing German stores, blowing up cash machines there, then fleeing back to the Netherlands. Several arrests resulted in investigations of the so-called Audi Gang.