Lommel alderwoman arrested in case of ATM robberies

In recent weeks, a spate of incidents occurred in which ATM's were blown up, as a new method to rob a bank emerged. In the latest twist to the case, a member of the Lommel town council was taken in for questioning. 38-year-old Anick Berghmans (Flemish socialist) was apprehended after a suspicious vehicle was found behind her house. The Mayor says he is shocked by the news.  The Alderwoman was released this afternoon, but she is facing official charges of complicity in the robberies.  

The alderwoman for Child Welfare will appear before a magistrate today. She has been suspended temporarily by Mayor Peter Vanvelthoven (Flemish socialist). 

 The Lommel politician (picture below) will have to explain what an Audi with a Dutch number plate was doing behind her house. The car was covered by a big sail. Police are investigating whether it was used in at least one of the ATM robberies lately. A second person was also apprehended, a friend of the alderwoman. 

Flanders was hit by a spate of incidents in which thieves blew up ATM machines using gas in recent weeks. This happened in Tielt-Winge, Kinrooi, Buggenhout, and Boechout, and in the past 10 days also in Lummen and Lommel, both in the Limburg region where Lommel is situated. Police think that one gang is responsible for the different robberies.

Speaking on the phone from abroad, Mr Vanvelthoven said he is "deeply shocked" by the news which "came as a big surprise".