Detectives arrest eight people as part of North East-wide ATM scam

Six men and two women have been arrested as police investigate ‘cash traps’ being fitted to more than 40 ATMS across the North East.

Officers at Northumbria Police’s Central Serious and Organised Crime Team made the arrests as part of a three-month investigation across the force area and County Durham.

The scam sees victims attempt to withdraw money from an ATM, but the cash is never dispensed.

Instead the notes fall into a ‘cash trap’ fitted to the front of the machine, that the offenders collect when the coast is clear.

Eight arrests have been made as part of the investigation.

Police made a breakthrough in their pursuit of the organised crime group and arrested four people from the Cleveland area.

More than £2,000 in cash, mobile telephones and clothing believed to have been worn during the offences were also seized by officers.

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A further four people were then arrested following a reported incident in Newcastle.

'Cash traps' are fitted to ATM machines to stop victims receiving their money.

Sergeant Ant Kirkbride said: “It is a fantastic result to make these arrests and it should have a real impact in disrupting this type of offending.

“Despite the suspects residing in the Cleveland area, we were still able trace them and travelled outside our own force area to apprehend the individuals.

“This is quite a sophisticated scam and on the face of it the ATMs look completely normal. Many people will withdraw small amounts of money and walk away thinking it is a fault with the machine.

“We are asking the public to remain vigilant, and if this happens to you, please check to see if there’s anything suspicious on the ATM and let us know as soon as possible.

The force is asking people to get in touch if they think they have been a victim of the scam.

“It is important that we trace as many victims as possible for our investigation so please call us if you believe you have been scammed in this way.

“You may have tried to withdraw money from one of these machines but then walked away after no cash was dispensed.”

Six men and two women were arrested in connection with the incidents last week, and have now been released under investigation with inquiries ongoing.

Contact police on 101 if you think you have been a victim of the scam.

It can also be reported on the Northumbria Police website or via [email protected]

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