From RiotACT reader Johanna this week comes a story that reinforces that old belief; that if you look confident enough and act like you know what you’re doing, you can get away with just about anything.
At around 8.30am last Thursday morning, a Caucasian man believed to be in his late 40s/early 50s walked into the East Hotel foyer in Manuka with a goods trolley. He proceeded to unplug and load up a freestanding ATM before wheeling it out the door and down the street.
We’ve not been able to confirm whether he was wearing hi-vis or carrying a clipboard, but no doubt such accessories would have added further credibility to his appearance.
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Walking past the building on her way to work, and accompanied by her two young children, Johanna was approached by two (as yet unidentified) security guards, who asked if she had “seen a man with an ATM?” Baffled, she replied no and continued on her way.
It was just a few moments later, as she approached Telopea Park, that Johanna spotted the alleged thief. Now looking rather dishevelled, he was trying in vain, by himself, to load the ATM into the back of a green Ford Falcon station wagon parked on the nature strip. Apparently, even in crime circles, it’s hard to find good help these days.
Brave Johanna yelled out to anyone who would listen and soon attracted the attention of a few passers-by. The unlucky would-be crook tried for a few more moments before abandoning the ATM and speeding off in a panic – but not before the bemused witnesses got a good description and licence plate details.
Staff at East Hotel have confirmed the attempted burglary, and we understand the man had been seen at the hotel several times over the preceding weeks. While the ATM remains out of commission for now, it’s expected to be reinstalled this week (no doubt with increased security).
ACT Policing has also confirmed that a report has been made, and further progress on the case is expected this week. If you know anything, give Crime Stoppers a call on 1800 333 000 or visit the website.
Great work by Johanna. Not all heroes wear capes.
And on a serious note, people who are happy and healthy do not attempt to steal ATMs in broad daylight. Let’s hope our hapless thief gets the help he needs.