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Sneaky Thieves Foiled In ATM Machine Heist

Pattaya Daily News

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Thieves used a vehicle to drag an ATM from the front wall of a deserted Pahtumthani restaurant during New Year’s Eve. But they were apparently unable to pry open the ATM, which they abandoned. The bandits also laid homemade spikes along 700 meters of the road to deter vehicles.

PATHUMTHANI – December 31, 2012 [PDN]; at 3 a.m., a report of ATM being dragged from the front of a restaurant by a pickup truck was received by Pol. Lt. Col. Kwanchart Jaemjamras, inspector on duty at Khubangluang police station.

The ATM machine of Siam Commercial Bank had been anchored in front of the Dee Potchana restaurant in Tambon Khukwang, Amphur Ladloomkaew, Pathumthani province. The restaurant owner is Mr. Nopporn Khaokharm, the Lord Mayor of Tambon Khukwang.

At the scene, police discovered the ATM lying in the middle of the road in front of the restaurant. The machine had been damaged, and attempts had been made to pry it open. The money box inside reportedly contained 2 million baht. Police were waiting for the bank officer to inspect the damaged ATM and report any losses.

The police found that the thieves had scattered home-made spikes along a 700-meter stretch on the road leading to the restaurant, apparently to deter any vehicles from approaching. The spikes were made of long nails nailed through wooden planks and sticking out the other side. The police and civil defense volunteers assisted to remove the spiked planks from the road.

Police questioned a local resident, identified as Mr. Passaphol Veerasitthichok, age 38, the fireman of Tambon Ra-haeng municipal. He told police he had just finished work and was driving past the incident point, when he saw a red pickup truck parking next to the damaged ATM. So he stopped to check.

The pickup truck driver told him that he saw the ATM machine in the middle of the road. So he got out of his truck to check, and discovered that it was the ATM machine of SCB bank. So he notified the police of Khubangluang police station.

Also at the scene was Mr. Theerachai Silakhao, the village head Moo 1 Tambon Khukwang. He noted the tire tracks of the vehicle that the thieves used to back up to the ATM machine, which they secured to the vehicle with ropes. The vehicle then yanked the ATM from the restaurant’s front wall, which also severed the ATM’s electric cord connections.

Surveying the damage was the father of the restaurant owner, identified as Mr. Manus Khaokharm. He told police that the restaurant belonged to his son. The restaurant had closed during the New Year’s holidays to allow employees to travel upcountry to visit relatives, so there was no one watching the restaurant.

The thieves had reportedly sprayed the ATM surveillance camera and the restaurant’s CCTV with paint. But a nearby CCTV across the street may have captured footage of the heist.

A technician was contacted to see if any images had been recorded of the attempted burglary. Officers are also waiting for a SCB bank official to inspect the ATM to determine whether the money was stolen or not.

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