NZ criminals try to blast open ATM with pipe bombs

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (AP) – New Zealand police said two criminals tried to blast open a shopping mall ATM early yesterday using seven homemade pipe bombs.

The attempt failed after only one of the bombs exploded and a second partially detonated before the suspects ran away, according to police. The ATM was only slightly damaged and no cash was stolen.

But the incident, rare in the South Pacific nation of five million, left many people feeling rattled.

“This is incredibly dangerous behaviour,” Police Inspector Andrea McBeth said.

She said police were making it a priority to find the people responsible and hold them to account.

McBeth said security footage indicated the suspects walked up to the ATM at the Chartwell Shopping Centre in Hamilton just after 2.30am with two packages containing the bombs and tried to detonate them simultaneously.

She said the bombs weren’t particularly sophisticated or powerful.

Police search outside the Chartwell Shopping Centre in Hamilton, New Zealand. PHOTO: AP