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Society

ATM’s Under Siege in Greece, Robbers Fire at Cops in Athens

April 28, 2019

ATHENS – Blowing up ATM’s and stealing the cash has become a favorite target of robbers in Greece’s capital and other cities, and an unknown number did it again after exploding a bank machine in the heavily-traveled Thisio neighborhood frequented by tourists.

This time, they were confronted by police from a DIAS motorcycle patrol in the area near the ancient Agora in the popular Plaka area and fired guns into the air as a warning before getting into a car and escaping.

Police are still searching for the thieves, said Kathimerini and it’s suspected the same gang was being blowing up other ATM’s and getting away with the money as they haven’t been apprehended despite being on a spree of thefts and using heavy explosives.

There were a number of similar robberies in February, One one, a group of between four to six robbers drove a car into a bank branch in the town of Megara, west Attica, and removed the ATM instead of blowing it up.

SKAI TV said one of the suspects called a nearby police station and reported a fake incident in another location to mislead authorities and send them away from the robbery.

Later that month, police went to the scene of the attempted theft of an ATM bank machine at the site of the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio where robbers broke through an entry gate to get into the canteen where it was situated.

They used crowbars to try and break open the machine but failed and so fled empty-handed, police said, adding that the perpetrators vandalized the canteen before leaving, said the paper.

Around the same time, an ATM in Thessaloniki was doused with flammable liquid and set on fire in an unsuccessful attempt to get the cash inside.

On Crete a blast tore open an ATM  in the seaside village of Maleme, near the port of Hania, where a homemade explosive device was used. The blast caused damage to the facade and interior of the supermarket but no injuries as there had been no one there at the time.

In Elefsina, west of Athens, burglars failed to get inside an ATM despite setting off a bomb to break it up and fled without getting any money at the scene, also outside a supermarket.

The unknown perpetrators were believed to have channeled flammable gas into the machine before igniting it during a 3:30 a.m. attempted heist.

In March, a similar incident happened when would-be burglars couldn’t get into an ATM in  Paeania, eastern Attica, also putting flammable gas into the machine before igniting it at 4 a.m. but failing to get any money.

A few days later, police in Thessaloniki said they tracked down  two suspected members of a ring believed to have tampered with nine ATMs to steal people’s card details, clone their cards and make multiple withdrawals from their accounts over the past two years.

The suspects, aged 33 and 41, are both foreign nationals, police said, without revealing further details or tactics.

The ring allegedly used a tactic known as transaction reversal fraud in which they created a software error to allow them to withdraw cash from an account without it appearing to have been debited and were believed to have gotten 10,190 euros ($11,376) from 11 illegal withdrawals of cash and face multiple charges of fraud.

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