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5 Worst ATM Robbery Fails

Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo

What is it about the ATM that makes it seem vulnerable? Perhaps it's because they're shrouded in the kind of ubiquitous plastic that's reminiscent of all cheap, poorly crafted things. Maybe it's because ATMs seem to always be just inside the door of convenience stores.

Perhaps the allure of all that idle money sitting in the bottom of some automated machine is just too much for some people. Whatever the reason, a lot of people have tried to steal ATMs. Some have succeeded, but many have failed. And for that, we are grateful. One of the little joys in life must be watching criminals fail at doing what they're supposed to be good at: committing crimes.

We'll see car doors get ripped off, vehicles buck under the weight of an ATM and spontaneous explosions sputter out of control. All the videos, however, have one common theme: wannabe thieves will speed off empty-handed. It turns out ATMs have some pretty intense security features (who would have thought?). So, a word to the wise: Ripping ATM machines out of the ground isn't easy.

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This guy pulls up in arguably the most identifiable truck in that community. He's even got an ad, a sign or something on the back left side of his vehicle. The cops in Australia probably identified this perp in about half a second. My favorite part of this video is how the guy looks at the camera before destroying the door to the convenience store. But he doesn't even throw that white square (whatever it is) through on the first try. Weakling.

And the piece de resistance, he doesn't hook the chain up to his truck. That's probably for the better, since his rusty truck would have disintegrated trying to pull the ATM out of the convenience store. As a solo show, this guy stinks. Maybe he needs to recruit an accomplice or supervisor to make sure he checks all the boxes next time. Either way, the police probably already found this guy thanks to that unique truck.





I admire the bravado of these two, backing right through the entranceway of some government building in Texas. Of course, things aren't going smoothly from the get-go with these two. The doors that they busted through get stuck on the truck. Once the line is hooked up, the second suspect can't get back into the truck. It looks like it's locked.

Instead of having his buddy unlock it, he decides to get into the bed of the pickup truck, which is a ridiculous move when you think about how simple it is to unlock your car. We'll chalk this move up to the heat of battle, I guess. All in all, they only succeed in yanking the front panel of the machine off. We'll give these two an A for effort and a D for execution. Hopefully, that front ATM panel was worth the criminal record.





Taking a break from the vehicle robbery variety, this thief decides he's going to blow up a drive-thru ATM. It's a bold strategy, and it most certainly does not pay off. His explosion worked, but the timing was all wrong. It seemed he was OK to run away afterward, but the explosion did considerable damage to the ATM. All the money, though, remained safely inside.





Riding into a gas station while laying flat in the bed of a pickup truck just feels like an amateur move. The guy in the bed of the truck isn't even wearing a ski mask. He's laying down back there like he thinks he's in some heist movie. Then this Einstein proceeds to hop out and get the chain around the ATM (doesn't move the trash can), only to have the vehicle pull the thing like an inch. His buddy tries to help him pull the ATM out, but to no avail.





This is an ambitious attempt. We've already watched three pickup trucks get humbled by the weight and security of the average ATM. How will things go down with what looks like a Hyundai Santa Fe? Exactly as you'd expect. They manage to get a cable around the ATM, the vehicle speeds off and a window blows under the pressure. The ATM, on the other hand, didn't even budge.


Image Credit: ChiccoDodiFC/Shutterstock
Matt D'Angelo
Matt D'Angelo,
Business News Daily Writer
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I'm a staff writer for Business.com and Business News Daily. I cover various small business topics, including technology, financing and marketing.