Suspected thief uses blow torch to try and rob ATM

Surveillance still of a suspect using blow torch to break into ATM.
Surveillance still of a suspect using blow torch to break into ATM.

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - Crooks use a hot tool to try to get cold cash from an ATM. The attempted robberies happened Tuesday morning at ATM's at two banks in Summerville.

The automated teller machine at the Suntrust Bank on North Main Street has burn marks on it and police say it's no accident.

The marks were made with a blowtorch by someone who tried to open the machine to get money. Investigators believe the suspect caught on surveillance video taken by cameras at the nearby South Carolina Federal Credit Union is behind both robbery attempts.

Police say the attempted blowtorch burglaries happened early Tuesday morning just minutes apart. The suspect struck first at Suntrust and failed to get the ATM opened. Then he was caught on camera trying to do the same thing at the Credit Union.

Authorities say the culprit who tried to get into the South Carolina Federal Credit Union ATM worked a little harder by melting the locks around the door and also leaving a burn mark on the combination lock. But again, the suspect did not get away with anything.

Despite $3,000 worth of damage, the ATM is still fully functional. The suspect was unsuccessful in an attempt to break into the ATM machine.

According to SC Federal Credit Union, there is a temperature alarm on the ATM, but a small blow torch would most likely not raise the temperature enough to set off the alarm. A contractor who handles cash for SCFU ATMs discovered the damage Tuesday morning and police are now reviewing the surveillance video from the incident.

Twice denied dollars from the machines, the blowtorch bandit most likely is hot under the collar.

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