Gardai and the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) have joined forces to target criminals who have used gas to blow up 10 ATMs across Ireland to steal cash.
Retailers with ATMs on site are on alert after Dublin suffered two attacks in Knocklyon and Balinteer and there were other incidents at Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, and Drogheda, Co Louth.
Not only are these attacks causing huge damage to property but the authorities in both sides of the border are concerned that it could eventually lead to a death caused by the devastating explosion.
It emerged at a court hearing in England this year that the safe distance for anyone passing by from one of these explosions is around 100 metres and that anyone caught near a blast could be killed.
According to The Herald newspaper, the crime was a major topic at a high level meeting which took place in Dublin among senior detectives from across the country in which a garda plan of action was formulated.
The only successful raid happened last February when almost €100,000 was taken by criminals who fired shots at unarmed gardai as they fled from officers at the scene of the Ulster Bank at Rafter
Street, Enniscorthy, in February.
Other unsuccessful attempts took place at Knocklyon Shopping Centre in South Dublin in May when the raiders fled empty handed and also at the Donore Road in Drogheda, Co Louth, in September.
It is understood that two gangs have been identified as operating in Ireland and that they have gained “levels of expertise” from Eastern European criminals.
Gardai are investigating whether one of these mobs is linked to a dangerous gang who previously used JCBs to pull ATMs from the walls of banks and businesses.