SUMMERVILLE -- A man armed with a blow torch unsuccessfully tried to burn his way into two ATMs outside banks on Main Street this week.
On Monday, police were called to the Suntrust Bank branch office at 741 North Main St., where a manager reported finding five burn holes on the exterior of the machine, according to an incident report from the Summerville Police Department. No entry was made into the machine and the ATM was fully functional despite the damage, the report said.
On Tuesday morning, police responded to the South Carolina Federal Credit Union branch office at 1000 North Main St. An ATM there had burn marks around the access door and the combination lock. An ATM technician told officers the burn marks appeared to have been caused by a small, hand-held blow torch. Though no money was taken, damage to the unit was estimated at $3,000, according to an incident report.
ATMs are equipped with temperature-sensitive alarms, but the heat generated by a hand-held torch might not be enough to set off the alarm, the report said.
Early Sunday, thieves used a stolen forklift to hoist an ATM into a stolen pickup truck outside a Lexington bank.
Authorities said the thieves in that case may also be responsible for as many as four other ATM thefts around the state.
Georgetown County deputies talked to Lexington police about an ATM theft in Pawleys Island that used stolen construction equipment and a stolen pickup. Similar thefts have been reported in Anderson, Greenville and Clemson.
Lexington police say they don’t have any suspects in the theft.
In the Summerville cases, police Capt. Jon Rogers said investigators have examined surveillance footage from both banks and they believe the same man is involved.
Anyone with information about the crime should call Summerville Police at 871-2463 or Crime Stoppers at 554-1111.