Police Detain 42 People After ATM Attacks

ATMs have become a popular spot for gangs to cash in. German police have detained 42 people as part of a crackdown on gangs suspected of blowing up the machines.

An increase in incidents where thieves blow up ATMs and leave with the cash has become more and more common in Germany over the years. According to the Interior Ministry, in 2022, there was a record 496 cases, an increase of 27 percent from 2021.

Over the span of three days, police in seven of Germany’s 16 states conducted searches on more than 5,300 vehicles and 8,000 people. The ministry said that 42 people were detained after these searches but they didn’t specify what they are accused of.

The aim was to show that these attacks are not okay in the country and across neighboring regions. “Anyone who blows up cash machines risks the life of people who aren’t involved,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said.

She added that further incidents can be stopped only by effective and wide-ranging preventative measures, including increased video surveillance, systems that dye stolen banknotes and reduced cash stocks at individual sites.

Many cash machines in bank foyers have now started to close to customers overnight in an attempt to stop these thefts.