Sat | Apr 1, 2023

$8m stolen, vandalised ATM found hours after robbery

Published:Friday | February 3, 2023 | 1:05 AMHopeton Bucknor/Gleaner Writer
The area from which an ATM was uprooted in Darliston, Westmoreland.
The area from which an ATM was uprooted in Darliston, Westmoreland.

An ATM, which is believed to have contained more than $8 million, was discovered destroyed on the compound of the Darliston Great House in Westmoreland on Thursday, several hours after a group of heavily armed men stole it from a service station in the community.

The management at Jemison’s Service Station in Darliston, Westmoreland, are fearing that their establishment has now become a feeding tree for criminals after being the target of yet another robbery.

“Just nine months ago, there was a major robbery at this same location, where armed robbers entered the gas station, held us at gunpoint and robbed us, and now another incident where a [group] of men break into the place and took away the ATM machine,” a manager told The Gleaner.

The manager said that on this occasion, the crooks were able to spend more than half an hour robbing the establishment.

“We are all now living and working in fear. It is very hard for us to come to work each day because you don’t know when someone is going to pounce upon you,” he added. “We crying out for help here. We need some help.”

Early Thursday morning, about 12 heavily armed men broke into Jemison’s Service Station and stole the ATM, which is believed to have contained over $1 million, along with other items.

Surveillance footage captured the crooks driving into the service station compound about 2:30 a.m.

They then use heavy machinery and power tools to cut the grille at the entrance of the service station and mini mart before entering the establishment and cutting away the large ATM, which was bolted to the floor.

The bandits then proceeded to rob the mini mart of cash, liquor, phone accessories, and cigarettes before driving away.

Thursday morning’s robbery came weeks after a similar hit at a Hi-Lo Food Stores outlet in Fairview, Montego Bay.

In that break-in, thieves made off with an estimated $2.5 million in cash, taken from a cambio, along with dozens of high-end smart phones, as well as millions in cash and other items from the supermarket.

One police source told The Gleaner that similar to the incident in Montego Bay, the thieves in Darliston used heavy-powered tools, crowbars, sledgehammers, and steel cutters to gain access to the premises and carry out the robbery.