The owner of a filling station in Irvinestown has described an attempted ATM theft at her family-run business as “soul-destroying” after thieves tried to break into the premises to steal its ATM in the early hours of yesterday morning (Wednesday, November 18).

Detectives are still investigating the attempted ATM theft at Loane’s Costcutter shop and filling station on the Enniskillen Road, Irvinestown.

Two men wearing masks were captured on the shop’s CCTV footage. Although damage was caused, it is understood that no money was taken.

‘We don’t need this’

Speaking to The Impartial Reporter about the incident, Elizabeth Loane, who owns the shop as part of the Loane family group, said: “We don’t need this. It’s very difficult to try and make a living, never mind someone coming and taking things they shouldn’t be trying to take.”

She described the attempted theft as “soul-destroying” for her and the Loane family, “and also for the staff, because they put so much effort into trying to run the business”.

She added: “With the current pandemic, it’s just an added stress that we don’t need.”

A spokeswoman for the PSNI said: “Entry was forced to the rear of the premises where the ATM was housed, and efforts were made to remove money from the machine. It’s not believed any money was taken.

“A number of masked men are understood to have been in the area at around 12.45am and were still present at 2am, shortly before the monitoring company made a report to police at 2.03am.”

Saying that she was thankful the thieves “didn’t get away with anything”, Elizabeth said: “They didn’t get the opportunity to take anything, but they’d went into the back where the actual cash-holding machine is, in the back storeroom.

“They had gained access to it, and obviously something must have triggered them then that they scarpered.”

Detectives are appealing for witnesses, or anyone with CCTV or dashcam footage in the vicinity during the early morning hours, to contact them.

If you can assist, contact Enniskillen CID by calling 101, quoting reference 96 18/11/20.

Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent anonymous charity, Crimestoppers, at 0800 555 111.