17 August 2019

Sparks fly as men try to break into Belconnen payment machines

| Lachlan Roberts
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Police said the crime was brazen, but also largely futile. Screengrab from CCTV footage.

Police have released CCTV footage of men using petrol-powered grinders to cup open parking payment machines at Westfield Belconnen earlier this month.

Around 2:40 am on 2 August, a maroon Mazda hatchback drove into the Belconnen mall carpark from Lathlain Street, Belconnen.

Three people, two of a slim build and one of a solid build, all dressed in black, were caught on CCTV footage using petrol-powered grinders and a crowbar to cut open the cash box on two parking payment machines on level two of the centre.

Police believe the offenders were disturbed by officers responding to a call from shopping centre security, and left the car park via the Lathlain Street exit at around 2:45 am.

Detective Acting Station Sergeant Stephen Ladd from ACT Policing Criminal Investigations said this kind of crime was brazen, but also largely futile.

“The cash boxes on these machines are emptied regularly, and many people pay for their parking using their card, so there usually isn’t a large amount of cash in the machines,” Detective Acting Station Sergeant Ladd said.

“These offenders had obviously planned this activity in advance, but police responded swiftly to the call from shopping centre security, and disturbed them before they could do any more damage.”

Police are urging anyone who may have any information that could assist police to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the Crime Stoppers ACT website.

Please quote reference 6423721. Information can be provided anonymously.

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