ATM bombers shoot at cars

2008-03-29 00:00

HEAVILY-ARMED robbers shot at passing motorists shortly after bombing a Standard Bank automated teller machine (ATM) in Nottingham Road outside Howick yesterday.

One car was damaged, but no one was reported injured during the incident during the early hours of the morning.

The blast blew a hole in the roof of the building that housed the ATM, but no money was stolen.

Speaking to Weekend Witness, the owner of the building in which the ATM was mounted, Gavin Hayhoe, gave this account: “My wife heard a thump noise. She thought a lorry had lost its load, but it wasn’t long after that that we received a call from the police.

“Virtually every piece of glass from the building was blown,” he said.

Although investigations were still under way and no arrests had been made yesterday, police said they believe commercial explosives were used in the blast and that four men were involved.

“Investigations at the scene established that four unknown men arrived at the ATM and after a short while, the sound of an explosion was heard,” Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said.

He said spent cartridges from R1 rifles and shotguns were recovered at the scene. It is believed that the robbers shot at passing motorists in panic as they fled.

It was not clear how they got away.

Budhram said the suspects made off with an undisclosed amount of money. However, Hayhoe and other people at the scene said the robbers failed to blast open the money case and left it at the scene.

ATM bombings have become widespread in the KZN midlands over the past couple of months, so much so that repairing bomb-damaged buildings has become a regular task for local builder Vicky Bridglall.

“I have seen and repaired enough of these all over Pietermaritzburg and the midlands,” he said.

On January 11, two machines were bombed in Cato Ridge.

A UK citizen who has been staying in the midlands for the past few years shared a local joke to lighten the matter a bit.

“When I heard that an ATM on Nottingham Road had been blown up, I knew it was Standard Bank. FNB, which is just next to it, never has any money.”

Another spectator believed the FNB machine was not targeted because of the CCTV cameras installed around it.

The Standard Bank branch that was affected during the blast is expected to be operational by Monday.

Erik Larsen of Standard Bank could not comment yesterday.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.