Police Say Blow Torch Bandits Hit Local Bank ATMs

Police Say Blow Torch Bandits Hit Local Bank ATMs

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SOUTH PHILADELPHIA -

When police and firefighters responded to a fire alarm at a Wells Fargo Bank at Third and Oregon on Monday morning, they came face to face with the work of some bandits with a blow torch.

"We have a pattern here, " Captain Larry Nodiff of South Detectives told Fox 29. "They were in and out of that facility very quickly."

Investigators say that these bank burglars have hit at least four times in the past few weeks. At Wells Fargo, they used a torch to try and break into the outside ATM. That failed so they broke in the back door and used the torch again on an ATM inside. That set off alarms.

"A fire retardant system was activated and they had to flee from that location," Nodiff explained.  

Six hours earlier, police believe the same burglary crew hit an ATM at the PNC Bank on Packer Avenue, but they got away with nothing.

"We obviously don't know at this point if they're armed, but we always assumed they're dangerous," Nodiff added.

Customers weren't happy to find their favorite ATM machine shut down and surprised at the brazenness of these bank bandits.

"It's terrible if you gear everyone towards making deposits at the ATM, it's inevitable," said Katie Swenson after she was turned away from her local ATM.  

Police believe the same suspects also hit this ATM on Island Avenue on Saturday and got nothing. They may be the same bandits who tried to knock off an ATM in Camden last month too.

"Based on their batting average, they haven't been successful. So they don't appear to know too much about the ATM machines," Nodiff said.

"I'm inconvenienced, but it won't hurt the balance of my account," Swenson said.

Police are also looking at a fourth ATM robbery in the city late last month. The FBI is also working on this investigation.

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