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Exploding ATMs come to Canberra

By johnboy - 15 December 2008 21

[First filed: December 13, 2008 @ 18:15]

Crimestoppers bring word of an NAB ATM getting seriously detonated on Townsend St in Phillip last night.

The SMH is linking it to a string of over 20 ATM explosions nationally.

It seems the money inside still works even when you’ve blasted the front of the thing 100m away.

Even doing it in the early hours of the morning (as much to avoid detection as for public safety one suspects) the chance that an unlucky punter is going to cop it is very high.

UPDATED: The ABC reports that banks have posted a $50,000 reward for anyone grassing up the exploders.

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21 Responses to
Exploding ATMs come to Canberra
Skidbladnir 9:15 am 16 Dec 08

poptop said :

What would an ATM be worth?

They certainly look expensive.

According to the Australian Banker’s Association 2004 infosheet, they cost around $40k for the base unit, then install, maintenance, and ongoing cash stocking costs.
These all seem to be commercial secrets. 🙁

If they did, why don’t ATM’s have a dye bomb inside the cash repository which is activated by violent movement?
Or even better, something which just totally destroys the notes, chemical means or otherwise?

Destruction of or defacing the currency is actually a crime against the Commonwealth (See Section 16, Crimes (Currency) Act 1981), and requires explicit written permission to do so from the Reserve Bank.

johnboy 11:20 pm 15 Dec 08

I suspect that would be a downside of our durable plastic money.

bigfeet 10:49 pm 15 Dec 08

Did they actually get away with the cash? The report doesn’t say.

If they did, why don’t ATM’s have a dye bomb inside the cash repository which is activated by violent movement?

Or even better, something which just totally destroys the notes, chemical means or otherwise?

AndyC 7:20 pm 15 Dec 08

Just in case the guy that was sitting behind me at Soul Bar last Friday lunch reads this, yes, I know I suggested a quick way to make a buck would be blow up those 6 ATMs in the post office square there in Woden plaza simultaneously late at night during the weekend, but I am also not responsible for this…

My plans were much grander…

poptop 5:31 pm 15 Dec 08

What would an ATM be worth?

They certainly look expensive.

peterh 2:25 pm 15 Dec 08

Skidbladnir said :

By the way, for anyone chasing the banks’ $50k before Christmas, I am in now way involved.
Start your search elsewhere…

Skid, I think that the fact that you are so knowledgeable on all subjects would rule you out. they would expect someone who wanted to brag about it to post with bad spelling, grammar and a lot of caps…

Skidbladnir 2:02 pm 15 Dec 08

By the way, for anyone chasing the banks’ $50k before Christmas, I am in now way involved.
Start your search elsewhere…

peterh 11:17 am 15 Dec 08

checked the windows at work this morning. not a scratch. apparently, there was 200m of damage, but not directly across the road, missed us completely.

the antique shop next door has damage to one window.

OPC IT are worse off, I hope that it doesn’t effect their business too much.

Skidbladnir 8:36 pm 14 Dec 08

Okay, I don’t know if OPC have street-pointing cameras, nor if Canberra Hobbies & Models would, now if Hansel and Gretel do, so you’ll have to make do with footage of one of the earlier Sydney attacks via LiveLeak (most of the site probably isn’t work-safe, people), and it looks like a two-gas mixture is being pumped into the ATM and then detonated.
Oxy-acetylene?
-Link to Youtube where even science teachers get handling acetylene wrong-

Note for the children: Acetylene may be cheap, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, either you or your bystanders may die or follow the example of Nobel laureate Nils Gustaf Dalén who accidentally blinded himself with projectile shards of glass, and its also an anaesthetic but fatal in large doses.
And its explosive by impact shock at greater than 15 PSI.
And will cause bystanders caught in the flameburst to catch alight at roughly 3000 degrees C.

If the problem is inherently structural, the quickest option for preventing an explosive gas buildup would be “put vents in them”.
But thats still going to need someone to determine the most secure way to put in such vents while keeping the cash acceptably out of touch.

Skidbladnir 7:11 pm 14 Dec 08

Okay, in true RiotACT form, I’m going to say this without knowing all of the facts.
But as they’re probably classes as police intelligence at this point, we’re not likely to get a bunch of relevant facts or specifics forthcoming, especially if any or how much money is unaccounted for.

I’m not so sure they’re related to the other incidents nationally, beyond the similar method of execution, though.
If its a structural flaw thats allowing it to happen, this may well become the new method of robbing an ATM, and newer tactics have a historical tendency of being spread through importation and demonstration.
This has got media propagating it to everywhere that will listen, and its known to be effective.

Its low-technique, low-technology, with quick material gain (and an entertaining amount of destruction), and even if they can roll out a new version of the basic ATM tomorrow, there will still be a population of valid targets around for however long it takes to deploy several thousand new ATMs nationally.

Cost is low, requisite equipment is widespread, and the level of training required put it in the range of your average idiot, risk to public is low if you’re doing it in otherwise-quiet commercial areas at low-traffic times, and it takes only a matter of hours to prepare for…

Sure, some of your cash loot might be burned, but if the remaining cash is enough to turn a profit for the operation and still account for risks to executor and nearby damage to property, your average John Q Criminal could probably see this as a viable alternative to holding up the local BP.

Instant Mash 12:36 pm 14 Dec 08

Very good point, overlooked by me hahaha.

Tooks 12:33 pm 14 Dec 08

Instant Mash said :

Have they never heard of earning their money legitimately?

That would involve hard work, not usually a quality of most crooks.

Instant Mash 11:54 am 14 Dec 08

Have they never heard of earning their money legitimately?

Holden Caulfield 9:09 pm 13 Dec 08

I was in Phillip today and a couple of the places I went to mentioned this, but I didn’t see the aftermath for myself.

Woody Mann-Caruso 6:46 pm 13 Dec 08

What, again?

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