A local criminal gang was left red-faced yesterday after police seized a fake ATM which had already paid out thousands of pounds to unwitting customers.
So sophisticated was the bogus cash machine that high street shoppers were completely unaware that the bank notes they received were not coming from their accounts, but actually from a dummy vault subtly concealed in two feet of reinforced concrete behind the machine.
“You’d never know it was anything other than genuine,” explained PC Flegg. “If we hadn’t swooped so swiftly, I dread to think how much cash could have been given out.”
Councillor Bob Crossley expressed relief on behalf of all residents: “Our boys in blue have prevented shoppers being literally hundreds of pounds in pocket, it’s another triumph for local policing,” he declared. “This gang are probably cursing themselves now, and who can blame them?”
Some experts have warned against premature jubilation, however. Visiting Professor of Criminalology Arthur ‘Kneecaps’ Hodgson urged caution, saying: “They won’t stop at this, they’ll strike again. Townspeople should look very closely at the money in their pockets, then throw it out. Don’t take any chances. I’ve already been down to the Post Office, withdrawn my entire life savings, and burnt them. You can’t be too careful. And now I live in a hedge.”