VICTORIA Police will step up patrols at community ATM’s in small towns after a spate of thefts and attempted thefts in recent weeks.
Thieves attempted to break into an ATM in Creswick around midnight on Friday before another similar attempted theft happened at a Commonwealth ATM in Skipton at 1.50am.
The Skipton ATM is connected to the Opportunity Shop, but it is understood thieves walked away empty handed after a security guard disturbed them.
At this stage it is not known what was taken from the Creswick ATM.
It comes just two weeks after a substantial amount of cash was stolen from a Bendigo Bank in Beaufort. That ATM was attached to the Beaufort Community Centre.
The spate of thefts and attempted thefts comes almost 12 months to the day after the Smythesdale service station was left with gaping holes in the front and rear walls after thieves used a bobcat to steal an ATM in a daring ram-raid.
The stolen bobcat was rammed through the front of the Caltex Service Station on the Glenelg Highway about 3.15am and driven through the store.
Meanwhile, Campaspe Crime Investigation Unit detectives are appealing for help after thieves damaged an ATM and stole money from a Tongala store on December 12.
It is believed two males attended the Mangan Street bank shortly before 3am and used an excavator to break into the front wall of the bank, causing significant damage to both the building and an ATM.
The pair stole a number of cash boxes before an alarm was activated.
It is believed the excavator, along with a truck located behind the bank, was stolen from an address on Apollo Drive, Shepparton about 1.15am on the same morning.
Witnesses have reported seeing a white duel cab and dark grey wagon near the front of the bank about a short time before police were called.
Investigators believe both vehicles are linked to the incident.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
- With Warrnambool Standard
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