ATM blown up, money box stolen in Bangkok

Explosive Ordnance Disposal officers inspect the bomb scene and shattered ATM outside the Tesco Lotus branch in Prawet, Bangkok, on Wednesday morning. (Photo by Patipat Janthong)

A thief bombed a bank ATM outside a Tesco Lotus hypermarket in Bangkok’s Prawet district and made off with the cash box, containing 481,700 baht, early on Wednesday morning.

The explosion on Soi Krungthep Kreetha 35, off Srinakarin Road, was reported to Prawet police station around 4.30am.

The ATM belongs to Bangkok Bank. The blast shattered the machine and left debris scattered over a radius of 30 metres. 

Thongthew Chuenkham, 58, a security guard at a company opposite the hypermarket branch, said he heard an explosion and rushed to see what happened.

He saw an ATM was on fire and a man wearing a black jacket, black pants and a white crash helmet driving off on a motorcycle from the Tesco Lotus store towards Srinakarin Road. The hypermarket’s security guards put out the flames and reported the robbery to police.

Witness Polwat Yaibua, 23, was sleeping in his room in an apartment next to the hypermarket. He was jolted awake by an explosion. Looking from his window, he saw a fire at an ATM and a man taking a square metal box out of it and then fleeing on a motorcycle with no visible licence plate.

Metropolitan Police Bureau chief Sanit Mahathavorn said after inspecting the scene it was too early to identify the type of bomb used by the robber, but it had to be powerful blow the machine open.

Pol Lt Gen Sanit said it was clearly a robbery, not a security issue.

Police learned there was 481,700 baht cash in the stolen box.

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