Thief fights for life after 'blowing himself up' in bungled cash machine raid

CCTV footage has revealed the moment a blundering thief blew himself up while trying to steal from a cash machine.

The 51-year-old man has been left fighting for his life after filling the ATM machine with gas before setting it alight.

The Daily Record reported that he suffered extensive injuries to his head and face after attempting the raid at a newsagents in Clydebank in Scotland on Thursday night.

He was blasted in the face by a piece of the ATM, and the footage shows him engulfed in the flames, while moments later his accomplice is seen running away.

The man was later found unconscious by fire crews after the 11.40pm explosion blew a gaping hole in the front of the store, which activated an alarm.

Police are searching for the second man, who was seen abandoning his injured accomplice and fleeing the scene in footage obtained by the Record.

The CCTV footage shows the injured man, who locals understand to be from the Whitecrook area of Clydebank, being blasted into the air in a ball of flames.

He lands a few feet away and the second man can be seen inspecting debris on the ground before trying to drag his injured pal a short distance.

The uninjured man, who is wearing dark clothes, white trainers and appears to have his face covered, is seen carrying a bag as he leaves his accomplice fighting for his life at the scene.

Debris was lying scattered more than 20 metres across the car park, which was taped off by police as forensics gathered evidence.

One source said: “It must have been quite a blast and has shattered some of the other shop fronts.

“Part of the cash machine was lying 25 yards away. If the guy was hit with that he will be in a bad way.”

The attempted raid happened at a row of shops, between a Farmfoods and a Premier newsagents. All of the businesses were closed on Friday to allow the investigation to be carried out.

Pictures emerged on social media on Friday of firefighters treating the injured man soon after the blast.

Jamie Mac told how he stumbled upon the scene and saw fire and smoke billowing from the cash machine.

The chef said he dialled 999 before capturing the scene on his phone.

Tweeting the image, he said: “Ended up having to call emergency services last night. I got lost dropping a mate off & saw smoke and flames coming from the Farmfoods cash machine.

“2 guys tried to fill the cash machine with gas and blew it and themselves up. 1 guy ran away the (other) has life threatening injuries.”

Jamie’s picture shows three firemen administering first aid to the man, surrounded by debris from the explosion.

He shared a second picture which showed what appeared to be a piece of the ATM lying on the ground of the car park.

Police were not able to quiz the injured man on Friday as he underwent treatment at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Medics described his condition as “critical”.

Detective Inspector Fiona Macarthur said: “Enquiries are at a very early stage to establish the full circumstances and officers are currently examining CCTV as well as speaking to local businesses and residents.

“I would appeal to anyone who was in the area late last night and saw or heard anything suspicious to please get in touch.”

In April last year, a gang of seven men that caused explosions at cash machines in Scotland and England were jailed for a total of 92 years.

The group, who were finally snared in the Angus area, stole more than £550,000 and caused over £160,000 worth of damage in attacks on ATMs at 13 banks and supermarkets, according to Merseyside police.

The ATM attacks happened in Merseyside, Cheshire, Berkshire, Gloucestershire, and Suffolk in England, as well as in Aberdeen, Perth and Carnoustie in Scotland in 2015 and 2016.

Led by crime kingpin Andrew White, 28, the gang used a stolen HGV as a mobile HQ to carry the cars and gas canisters they used to blast out the ATMs, and even had hammocks in the back of the lorry.

Police caught up with the gang in Arbroath after they interrupted their getaway from a McDonald’s breakfast, swarming their vehicle at the Westway Retail Park takeaway and blasting out the tyres with wax bullets.

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