ATM bombers targeting Germany since Dutch machines closed overnight
The number of ATM bombings in Germany's North Rhine-Westphalia has increased explosively over the past years, especially since the Netherlands started taking extra measures to protect its ATMs from robbers. Gangs from the Randstad have moved their work to the German border area, the German authorities believe, De Gelderlander reports.
Since 2015, there have been 634 ATM robberies in Germany, with robbers getting away with 30.6 million euros, the German Minister Herbert Reul reported. He did not say what the total damage to buildings amounted to. The number of ATM bombings in North Rhine-Westphalia doubled since 2015 from 68 to 125 this year, with most of the increase happening in the border area with the Netherlands.
The German police are convinced that a group of over 100 people from the area around Utrecht and Amsterdam is behind the explosions. They are often referred to as the Audi gang, as they prefer to commit their crimes in stolen fast Audis. Since 2017, a total of 80 suspects have been arrested in connection with these ATM bombings.
Banks in Germany have been urged to take extra measures to protect their ATMs, for example by closing them at night, removing them from vulnerable places, and installing surveillance cameras and access control around them. "The banks have their own responsibility, they should not leave the protection of their property exclusively to the State," Reul said.