Police: Thieves Botch ATM Burglary Attempt, Accidentally Set Cash on Fire

Thieves attempting to steal money from an ATM machine in Washington state botched their planned burglary when they accidentally set the cash they intended to steal on fire, police said.
Everett Police Department

Thieves attempting to steal money from an ATM machine in Washington state botched their planned burglary when they accidentally set the cash they intended to steal on fire, police said.

Police and fire departments arrived on the scene Tuesday morning in response to reports of a fire at Coastal Community Bank on 19th Ave SE in Everett, KCPQ reported.

When they arrived, they found that the fire was coming from the drive-up ATM.

Everett Police shared a photo on Twitter of the burnt ATM:

Aaron Snell of the Everett Police Department said the suspects mistakenly set the money on fire while using a blowtorch to access the cashbox inside the ATM.

John Dickson, the executive VP and COO of Coastal Community Bank, said the suspects did not escape with any money and that the bank experienced another break-in by masked thieves trying to access the cash deposit box a few weeks ago.

“They attempted to get into the ATM and it looks like they used a blowtorch, which caught the currency on fire and created a little fire damage,” said Dickson.

Police identified two suspects from surveillance footage of the incident that shows one of the men trying to urinate on the fire to put it out.

The suspects in question are Eli Steen and Jason Kovar, both 31, of Everett, police say.

Police say they could arrest Steen and Kovar on charges of burglary and arson because they have “probable cause” and are also looking to question them to see if they are connected to other commercial burglaries that took place in Snohomish County.

The Seattle Times reports that the damage to the ATM, cash, and the building is estimated to be $35,000.

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