WEST JORDAN — West Jordan police believe two would-be ATM thieves recently made a third failed attempt to blow open an ATM using propane.
About 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 18, two men put a propane tank next to an ATM at Chartway Federal Credit Union, 2089 W. 9000 South, said West Jordan Police Sgt. JC Holt. They put a hose on the tank leading to the ATM, opened the tank, poured a trail of an accelerant leading to the tank, then lit it from just 50 feet away, he said.
In this case, the fire quickly fizzled out and the propane did not explode, Holt said. The ATM was not damaged and no money was taken. But the potential for the suspects being injured was high.
"Just not smart at all," Holt said of the method the would-be thieves.
Most of the incident was caught on the credit union's security cameras.
Police believe the same two men attempted similar ATM thefts using propane tanks on Jan. 8. One incident was at the Golden West Credit Union, 5639 W. Highlands Loop (7625 South). A propane tank was set up next to the ATM and then ignited. The blast caused significant damage to the ATM. Investigators believe the thief may have gotten away with deposits that customers had made, but the part of the machine that holds cash for dispensing was still intact despite the blast, Holt said.
Later that night, police believe the group made another attempt at American First Credit Union, 1799 S. Pioneer Road (2700 West) in Salt Lake City. Officers at the scene discovered an open propane tank with a hose running into the ATM. That attempt did not cause any damage.
The only description police had Thursday is two white men who appear to be in their 20s. They were seen driving a maroon early 2000s model sedan, possibly a Toyota Corolla.
"We want to know who they are. We want to stop them from doing this again. Someone is going to get hurt," police posted on Facebook.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call police at 801-256-2172.