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From the Connaught Telegraph 14 July 2004
By The Jaundiced Eye
Jul 18, 2004, 11:04

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ATM cash crooks target Ballina bank

HIGH-TECHNOLOGY devices which allow criminals to clone the details of ATM cash machine cards have been discovered for the first time in Co. Mayo. The sophisticated unit was spotted by an alert customer from the Killala area as he attempted to make a transaction at the Ulster Bank ATM machine in Pearse Street, Ballina on Saturday evening. Garda were alerted and the devices, which consisted of a card scanner and a fake panel, which fitted neatly over the regular ATM keyboard, was taken away by Gardai for technical examination.

If you thought this kind of thing only happens in Dublin think again. Unfortunately too it’s not just the restaurant scam where your card goes out of sight for a minute or too and is scanned in the back office. This is in your face stuff. So if you notice anything odd or unusual about an ATM – especially if it’s your regular drink-link – you should back away fast. A hidden camera recording your pin number is one thing but this kind of scanner is a more sophisticated piece of technology. It reminds me of the Steve Martin Movie 'LA Story' where there are two queues at an ATM - those taking money out but also a queue of robbers with guns - 'I'll be your robber today'! 

At the Movies - The Ladykillers (15PG)
A NEW release from those marvellous boys the brother Coen is always to be welcomed. Anticipated eagerly even. With lick-lipping relish. And gleeful rubbing of hands. Theirs is a body of work practically without blemish. And it’s not too many filmmakers of whom that may be said. From the Noir homage of their debut Blood Simple, through gems like the slapstick Raising Arizona, the stylish Miller’s Crossing, the claustrophobic, Kafkaesque Barton Fink, the oddballish The Hudsucker Proxy, the awesome The Big Lebowski, the sublimely absurd Fargo, the southern gothic relocation of Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?, the monochrome The Man Who Wasn’t There and the playful, witty Intolerable Cruelty.

The start of Sean Walsh’s regular movie column in the Connaught – he reviews the remake of the old Alec Guinness film with Tom Hanks in the starring role. Also an obituary for Marlon Brando in this week’s column. It’s good to have a local movie review column and not just a listing from the distributors telling us how great every film is regardless of what sort of rubbish it is.

Bag thief suffered pangs of conscience after hearing radio appeal
A THIEF suffered pangs of conscience after learning on radio that his/her greed would hinder a group of pilgrims from travelling to Medugorje. Gardai in Ballyhaunis were astonished when more than half the 1,100 euro and a mobile phone stolen during a break-in to a car in a local carpark was returned stuffed in an envelope together with a note of apology. The envelope and apology was in the letterbox of the Garda Station when officers turned up for the morning shift in Ballyhaunis station.

The power of local radio indeed!

© Copyright 2006 by the author(s)/photographer(s) and

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