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back to article German bank robbers in Italian Job moment

We in the El Reg Bootnotes secretariat need little excuse to make reference to classic Brit movie The Italian Job, so it's with great pleasure that we bring you news of German bank robbers who, in attempting to blow the doors off a rural bank, managed to destroy the entire building. The highly-skilled explosives experts …

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Boffin

Why no dye bomb?

I still don't understand why cash dispensers are the least bit attractive to thieves.

Surely they should be designed with a large dye-bomb inside, that goes off should a cable connecting the cash dispenser to the foundations of the building be cut. Banknotes saturated with dye are pretty much impossible to spend, so after word got out, thieves would leave all cash-dispensers alone.

In fact inside a cash-dispenser, it' would probably be safe to use concentrated sulphuric acid instead of dye, which would turn banknotes into acid-charcoal slurry.

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Welcome

I for one welcome....

....our new sulphuric acid dispensing ATMs.

Sadly:

1. I suppose notes covered in Dye due to an attempted ATM "Take away", could be swapped with the Bank of England for non-dye covered notes under the circumstances - not so easy with dissolved notes

2. The crim fockers would probably sue the bank for injuries and mental anguish caused if they were exposed to the acid - despite all the "its only happened because they're robbing the bloody place" aspects.

Now an ATM that turns the theiving crims into acid-charcoal slurry - I, for one, welcome, and so forth....

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Boffin

A Good Idea

The simplest way to accomplish this would probably be to have some sort of 'party-popper' like dye bomb tied into the building's foundations through a ground anchor. Such a purely physical device would be unlikely to fail in e.g. a power cut. If you put the anchor underneath the base of the machine and thread a steel cable through to the base of the dye-pack, then there's pretty much no way the thieves could avoid setting it off without opening up the machine and disconnecting it, which presumably would require them to be inside the bank with cutting gear - a much riskier prospect than driving up with a digger and hefting the machine out.

I dont think I'd recommend using sulphuric acid (now officially known as sulfuric acid thanks to our American cousins). Apart from the fact that it would be difficult to ensure it remains contained, what with it being a corrosive chemical, any reaction with bank notes would also produce large amounts of sulphur dioxide, which is itself a hazardous chemical. You could quite easily find yourself on the receiving end of an expensive law suit from those trying to rob you in the first place!

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Thumb Up

its true

Larger bank ATMs do have the dye anti tamper mechanisms. The smaller ones in shops and service stations tend not too. They only have about £30k to £50k in them. The banks ones have £250k+ in main branches inner city banks can have 500k in them but not all the cassettes are loaded that high.

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Bronze badge

Ronnie Biggs* here...

"inner city banks can have 500k in them"

Thanks for the heads-up.

Now, if the Irish poster can lend me his Komatso, and a refrigerated vehicle, I'll be back to Rio in a heartbeat. er....

*Wikpedia has me listed as: Occupation Carpenter, criminal. Carpenter?? Never sawed a for-be-two in my life. That were the Crays. Honest. They lived closer to Golders Green than Rio, that's for sure.

(Fond regards to Bubba when you next meet him, by the way)

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Grenade

Re: Sulfuric

I looked this up a few years ago (yes I am that sad) and it appears that both 'sulphuric' and 'sulfuric' are legitmate English spellings. i also discovered that 'aluminum' is not an exclusively American metal.

'Nucular', however, is still an abomination in mine eyes!

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Boffin

Sulphuric acid containment

Concentrated (not fuming) sulphuric acid will remain quite happily contained in a glass bottle for as long as the glass lasts. Plenty of other things it won't eat. The reaction with cellulose / paper is quite subdued. My chemistry teacher demonstrated the danger of conc sulphuric by pouring some onto a paper towel (in a glass basin). It gently dissolved into black slime, no SO2 or other fumes that I remember. I think it just extracts H2O from cellulose, leaving mostly carbon. (Cellulose, Sugar are carbo-hydrates, i.e. hydrated carbon).

He also showed that provided your skin is dry and you immediately wash off a splash of the acid with copious supplies of cold water, it won't harm you ... by demonstrating this using his own hand.

Fuming Sulphuric acid (H2S2O7) is rather more nightmarish.

(I refuse to bow to Yank spelling - the only word uk the English language that ends in -ize should be "americanize")

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Bronze badge

People are Stupid

Look it wouldn't matter if you did rig all ATMs with dye bombs* or indeed tactical thermonuclear devices and publicise the fact. There would still be plenty of thieves who tried to steal them.

There is a long running rumour that the OEM CD player in a Ford Focus contains a chip that will allow you to get free Sky television premium channels. This rumour has been around almost as long as the Focus and it's been rubbished many times over the years, but there are still frequent spates of thefts of the crappy OEM CD players. There is strong evidence that there are still thieves who belive the rumour since they will often ignore other cars, going only for Focii (?) and even ignoring the ones with aftermarket CD players. Why do the thieves continue to believe this even though the rumour has been debunked time and again? Because freetards are even stupider than other people.

* If you did dye bomb the notes the bank would still have lost the money so I don't suppose banks are too keen.

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Silver badge

Bah!

With a cash dispenser to pull apart at your leisure you can figure out the best way to go about a classic card-swipe "man in the middle" fraud.

I love the fact that the bank is in ruins but the ATM is still standing. Now I have the picture of a post-noo-cyoo-lar apocalyptic world in which cockroaches swarm over free-standing ATM machines littering the scorched landscape in abundance.

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Boffin

Dye bombs Down Under, on the other hand

...don't suffer from this disincentive to use.

Here the spoiled notes are redeemable

a) ONLY by the banks or other recognised owner of the dispenser

b) ONLY by direct application to the Reserve Bank (colonial version of the Old Lady of Threadneedle St)

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Pint

Power outage = spoiled money?

So you disconnect the cable(s) from the building to the machine and dye or acid or nuclear reaction occurs.

What about if there's a power outage? How does it know the difference? I'm not being critical just trying to think of the solution.

And if it's just a sensor cable attached to the building then surely these crooks would chisel/explode out the bit they needed. They've already proved that they have zero qualms about deconstructing a building!

Here's a beer for thinking about sulfuric acid on a Friday.

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Happy

Blow it up? - But why?

In Ireland we just drive in with a JCB (other diggers are available) smash the wall down pick it up and load it into a refrigerated truck and off you go.

What complicated about that.

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Silver badge

Just out of interest...

...why a refrigerated truck? Is money best spent cold?

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Grenade

In Germany

Where is this world going to, if _zee Germans_ don't know how to use explosives?

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Happy

The Building was.....weak!

....dosen't say who made the cash machine. (Wasn't a Nixdorf, By any chance?)

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Anonymous Coward

Crime

In Germany it was an attempted bank robbery - just a crime. If it had happened over here, the gov would be shouting "terrorist attack!"

That's gonna change with the ConLibs? Maybe not.

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WTF?

Some people...

do right absolute nonsense sometimes...

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Coat

It was

right absolute nonsense, won it?

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Go

Pictures Or It Did Not Happen.....

http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/2010/05/25/coup-in-malliss-gescheitert/panzerknacker-jagen-bank-in-die-luft.html

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Happy

Panzerknacker?

Translates as "tank breaker".

I like it :-)

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Stop

NSFW

Careful scrolling down that BILD page, some of the ads are definitely NSFW

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Grenade

One for the phrasebook

via O-level German and babel fish:

Sie sollen nur die blutigen Türen zu sprengen

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Silver badge

Perhaps

Next time the "highly-skilled explosives experts" might want to use a slightly smaller shaped charge. A det-cord type arrangement maybe?

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Citizen Smith

I was thinking more the episode of CS where they tried to blow Harold Fenning's safe up but destroyed the entire pub it was sitting in instead, only to find the safe still intact in the wreckage!

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Teutonic efficiency

at its best.

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Flame

God Bless America!!

Why use a reference from the very good "The Italian Job" when there is an even better reference from an even better film (and yes, its American) from the same era!

"Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?"

At least these German crooks got away. In America, there was an internet story circulating about some nitwit crook who backed his pickup through the glass at a store, chained the ATM machine to his rear bumper and then tried to drag the ATM away. The only problem is that the moorings on the ATM were stronger than the mounts on his bumper, so instead he tore his bumper (complete with license plate) off and drove away.

In the morning the cops came by, ran the license plate and drove over to the guys house. Finding the now bumperless pickup in the garage, they arrested the owner and called it a day.

Idiot!!!!

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Silver badge

Hurrah!

*Clapclapclapclapclap*

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Gold badge
FAIL

I'm sure they've seen the Italian Job in Germany

But I doubt the "suspects" (remember they have not had a trial yet) had the sense of irony to appreciate it.

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Anonymous Coward

Sicherlich...

...sie sind auslandere!!

No self-respecting German would make this kind of mistake! (Or any mistake).

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Anonymous Coward

Children, look again and then tell me what you see:

And now old daddy will tell you something about not only using your eyes but also *your brains*.

Tell me what you see.

Yes, a crater where a bank used to be.

What else?

An ATM. Fine.

Ohhhh. Someone told you a van drove away.

And why exactly do you think this might have be an attempted robbery?

And not a testbed for an IED?

lesson for today: If you want to hide something, do it in the open.

Guten Abend.

AC, obviously.

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Stop

I see ...

... yet another paranoid turd spreading FUD. 'Fess up - which ex-Home Secretary are you?

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FAIL

They are getting smarter...

At theast they retreated to the safety of their van before they blew it up which is more than can be said for these two http://darwinawards.com/darwin/darwin2009-09.html

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