The Dutch police struggle to catch ATM bombers, newspaper AD reports based on its own investigation. Last year there were 79 ATM bombings in the Netherlands, but only two perpetrators were convicted, according to the newspaper. Two court cases against groups suspected of 11 ATM bombings, are still ongoing.
The number of ATM bombings rose from 56 in 2015 to 79 in 2016. Last year a total of 40 suspects were arrested. Many of them were connected to ATM bombings in Germany, where ATMs are less well protected. Germany saw 61 ATM bombings in the first half of this year, according to AD.
The National Police acknowledged that the majority of ATM bombings go unsolved. "It's not easy to catch serious criminals and get them convicted", Jos van der Stap of the ATM bombing team said to AD. "It's hard to get the evidence." In July the police announced a new approach to ATM bombings. Instead of catching them in the act, the police will target ATM bombers intensively. This involves stopping these criminals by following them very obviously and annoyingly, taking their illegally earned money and also keeping an eye on their family members.
The police say that most ATM bombings are committed by criminals with a Moroccan background, according to AD. But the newspaper's investigation showed that most of the suspects have a Dutch background and come from Zeeland, Groningen and Overijssel.