Skip to content

This is why JCBs were invented

Criminal Gangs in Europe Are Blowing Up ATMs – and the Cash Inside
“They can’t work out the proper charge for the bomb and keep blowing up the fucking money,” a Dutch police official told VICE World News.

18 thoughts on “This is why JCBs were invented”

  1. In a past life, I designed ATMs, and specifically, ATM safes. Anyone who thinks that an ATM safe can be opened reliably with explosives, without damaging the cash inside, is labouring under a considerable illusion.

    My favorite ATM attack story is now more than 30 years old. By means of a stay-behind trick, a bunch of criminals associated with a political movement got to spend an entire weekend with a through-the-wall ATM in Mountpottinger, a suburb of Belfast in Northern Ireland. Despite having some power tools, plenty of muscle, and seclusion, they didn’t get a penny out of it. Got a large drink out of THAT one.

    I once had to open one of my own safes after the customer managed to slam the door so hard they broke the glass relocker. They wouldn’t let anyone but the manufacturer work on it. Even though I knew exactly how to attack it, and I had a helper and a large magnetic-base drill, it took 8 hours to open it and recover the cash.



  2. Like so many things these days, if you’re smart you don’t physically attack ATMs, you hack the software.

  3. A couple of years ago, a gang used a JCB to rip out the ATM from our local bank (It was Henfield, West Sussex – we’ve moved since then). All sounds like a bit of fun, except the people living above the bank were understandably traumatised, a passing car was rammed off the road, and the massive structural damage to the building meant that Henfield’s last bank then closed. The JCB and several cars were stolen and burnt out as part of the escapade.

    The young scamp responsible was a serial offender, having done several before. Locals said he was from that nomadic community who the police are somewhat reluctant to confront and prosecute.

    He got 30 months for the bank, and 30 months for the JCB theft. Thing is, they will run concurrently with a 5 year sentence he is doing for one of the other jobs. So basically, no punishment at all.

  4. Sam Vara said:
    “He got 30 months for the bank, and 30 months for the JCB theft. Thing is, they will run concurrently with a 5 year sentence he is doing for one of the other jobs. So basically, no punishment at all.”

    I never understood the point of that, other than to look tougher than they actually are.

    But presumably I can use the same principle when dealing with the government, and make the same cheque count against several years’ taxes?

  5. Peter MacFarlane said:
    “Cue Michael Caine quotes.”

    Yes, very disappointed in Tim there; surely there was only one suitable headline for this story.

  6. Tell me how you fare driving one of those around over there…

    Jolly useful, I’d have thought, if your mates turn up in their tractors.

  7. Llamas,
    Small world, I used to write software for NCR ATMs. I particularly liked the keyboard. When you enter your PIN, it is encrypted in the keyboard, so the computer never sees it. The keyboard itself being a sealed unit with a bona fide self destruct mechanism. Cool stuff.

    The nicking whole ATMs got started because the banks figured they were so damned heavy they could skip bolting them down. All you needed was a forklift. Oops!

  8. i know someone got there first , but

    You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!

  9. @ R-l-J – Small world. I worked for Speytec / Burroughs Machines at Fiveways in Croydon. NCR, our sworn enemies . Oh the happy days of DES vs Atalla, 64K disc drives and All Like That.

    Not bolted down was completely common, as you say, as were 3-dial S&G locks still set to the factory default of 10-20-30. I still have an S&G change key in my travelling toolkit, don’t ask me why.

    It was a simpler time, oh, my. I still hold a vivid memory of the manager of the TSB in Harrogate, who had his staff iron Every Single Note that went into his ATM, by hand – he was convinced it made it work better, and who was I to disagree? I’ve travelled the world and the seven seas . . .

    Happy times, small world.



  10. @Otto.. Nah.. a JCB can be smallish, but a modern tractor won’t even fit in most of the streets over there..
    And mostly.. it’s Amsterdam… The bits that are relevant is filled to the brim with NIMBYs, City Ecoloons, and Grievance Study Graduates.. A gnat farting at the wrong time will Trigger that lot..

    Besides.. If things get more ugly over here, Amsterdam isn’t a target. Schiphol airport has already been poked, and as expected the Military trotted out, and things …settled down.. over there.
    But Schiphol is easily shut down. So is Amsterdam if they drop a couple of burning haybales on the Ring in a couple of choice places. No need to actually drive into town at all to choke it…

    Incidentally.. The formal stance of TPTB is still that a lot of farms are going to be shut down, because EU and them Say So.
    The “mediator” (Remkes) they appointed is one of the root causes of the whole shitshow, and … is not accepted as a valid option by most of the farmers.
    So far, things have been ..peaceful.., but the farmers are already starting to showcase things they could do on a day’s notice, like dumping burning haybales on highways and demonstrating the destructive power of potato/cabbage guns…
    Some stuff has, as yet, been tabled for too risky regarding escalation, but can be rolled out within a day as well..

    So.. when summer recess ends, and the cogs start to turn again… It’ll be Interesting Times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *