Thieves who removed an ATM from an HSBC bank’s walls in Hull, UK, were caught by cops just 24 minutes after their daring “smash and grab” attempt.
Three men, who had stolen the industrial JCB just an hour before they carried out the robbery, ripped into the bank’s wall, leaving a gaping hole in the side of the building with brick and metal scattered everywhere.
Having torn the cash-filled machine out, the thieves then loaded it onto a black truck, which they also used as their getaway vehicle.
Nevertheless, despite their efforts, the would-be bank raiders were caught at 3:24 a.m. by Humberside Police officers just 15 miles away from the bank they had robbed.
The police were called when residents from the sleepy British village of South Cave were abruptly awoken by the noise of the JCB tearing away at the wall of the bank.
The owner of the newsstand next to the HSBC bank, Melinda Clark, told reporters, “It was completely unexpected and I don’t think anyone can believe it has happened. This is a quiet, sleepy village – things like this don’t happen to us. People are very shaken up. There were lots of witnesses, people heard what happened and were looking out of their windows but they were too scared to do anything.”
Another nearby neighbor, who wanted to remain nameless, also said she called 911 when she realized something was amiss.
“It’s the most scared I have ever been in my entire life. I was woken up by a huge banging and looked out the window to see three men in balaclavas ramming this vehicle into the side of the building. They must have driven into the bank about ten or 20 times and the noise was horrendous. I called the police straight away but I was in complete shock and couldn’t believe my eyes. It has caused a lot of people to worry. It’s made me very frightened because I was home alone with two children so I was scared for them, too.”
A spokesperson for HSBC said the bank knew about the incident and were working to have the damage repaired as soon as possible.
“We already have contractors working at the scene to make the building safe, but, unfortunately, we expect it will have to remain closed several weeks. We are committed to re-opening the branch as soon as we can.”