A search is underway for thieves who stole an automated teller machine from a petrol station in Enniscorthy.

It is understood that the cash machine at the Mace filling station in Enniscorthy County Wexford had only been filled yesterday. Gardaí believe a considerable amount of money was taken but have not released an exact figure.

This is the latest in an ever increasing list of robberies of ATM machines around the country.

Over the past few weeks, renovations had been taking place at the filling station shop. A digger which had been used in the works was used to smash into the wall containing the ATM.

One eyewitness describes seeing three men wearing balaclavas making their escape. After the thieves removed the ATM from the wall, it was lifted onto a waiting trailer.

I saw the digger hitting the front of the shop where the ATM was.

It is estimated that the robbery was over in less than ten minutes.

Gardaí are still looking for raiders in other parts of the country who took part in a number of other ATM robberies in the last few months. Detectives believe that the robberies may be connected and are possibly being carried out by a Dublin criminal gang.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 24 July 2009. The reporter is Damien Tiernan.