Thieves have blown up four St George Bank cash machines with acetylene gas in Sydney, Australia, successfully stealing money from one.
New South Wales (NSW) police say that between 2am and 4am yesterday the criminals blew up and stole cash from an ATM in Penshurst, Sydney. During the same period, two other machines in the city were blown up but no money was stolen whilst a further ATM failed to ignite.
According to local press reports, the thieves pumped acetylene gas into the machines and set light to them to explode them from the wall. In addition, a security guard was reportedly threatened with a firearm.
Detectives are currently investigating reports of four people last seen driving along Railway Street at Chatswood in a dark sedan.
The attacks are the latest in a series of explosions at ATMs over the last few months. Police say they are investigating reports of seven successful attacks dating back to July this year.
They have now re-launched Strike Force Piccadilly, comprising detectives from the property crime squad with assistance from various metropolitan regions, to investigate.
David Hudson, assistant commissioner, says: "These are highly volatile and dangerous acts, which is evident through the extensive damage that has been caused to ATMs during recent incidents."
"Detectives have, and will continue, to work closely with financial institutions to thoroughly investigate all lines of inquiry into these offences," he adds.
Earlier this month police in Germany reported the arrest of three men in Berlin on suspicion of blowing up several cash machines since February.