ATM theft technique advances

A spate of thefts from ATMs in Crete continued on Wednesday with the latest involving more advanced techniques in which the assailants smashed open the cash dispenser and took the money directly rather than towing away the whole machine. Police said that five armed men smashed open an ATEbank ATM machine in Krousona, Iraklion, using sledgehammers. The gang took the ATM’s cash compartment containing 13,000 euros, police added. It was the ninth cash dispenser targeted by thieves on the island in the last six months, with most previous cases involving assailants hoisting ATMs onto a small truck and transporting them to a mountain area before emptying the contents. Police said the amount of cash taken in Wednesday’s robbery was relatively low as banks in the area are keeping cash amounts to a minimum due to the high number of thefts. The ATM robberies have all been very well-organized and involved the use of heavy machinery, according to police, which are concentrating search efforts in the mountain area of Mylopotamos.