Accused ATM thief enters no pleas

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The man accused of stealing Murupara’s sole ATM appeared in court today facing nine charges.

Keelin Kotene Ruru, 27, appeared in the Whakatane District Court charged with four counts of burglary, receiving stolen property and intentional damage in relation to the robbery of the Murupara Credit Union’s ATM on June 3.

He is also charged with escaping custody, two charges of assault with intent to injure and threatening to kill.

Police allege Ruru, from Kawerau, used a stolen log loader to rip the ATM from the front of the bank sometime in the early morning.

The ATM was later found by police abandoned and unopened eight kilometres down the road.

Murupara residents were left without an ATM for a month before Westpac committed to installing another one at the credit union building.

This was the second time in two months the ATM had been targeted by thieves.

In an earlier incident, offenders accessed the town’s only bank through the roof and attempted to slice open the cash machine with an angle grinder.

Ruru has not entered any pleas and has been remanded to reappear on July 25 for a bail hearing.