Vehicle sought after bumbling thieves botch ATM smash and dash in Bay of Plenty

Police are seeking sightings of a black Ford SUV in Murupara, in the Bay of Plenty, following the botched robbery of an ATM which was found abandoned after falling off a trailer overnight Monday.

Police are investigating following the robbery of an ATM in Murupara overnight. Source: Facebook / News Whakatane

The car, a black 2019 Ford Everest SUV, was involved in the burglary of the Murupara New Zealand Credit Union Central on Pine Drive at about 3am, police said. It was towing a distinctive single-axle galvanised Prescott trailer with a side-loading ramp at the time of the incident.

The vehicle and trailer are believed to have travelled with a front-end log loader to the town centre, where the ATM was snatched, immediately prior to the burglary, authorities said.

The log loader, stolen from a log yard, was then used to damage the front end of the building and lift the ATM onto the waiting trailer. The loader was then left at the scene as the suspects drove away, police said.

The ATM and trailer were later recovered on nearby Kopuriki Road, approximately eight kilometres from the town centre. The ATM had fallen off the moving trailer, while the trailer was discarded further down the road.

No money appears to have been pried from the machine, police said earlier. 

The attempted burglary is expected to have a "huge impact" on the Murupara community because the ATM was the only one in the township. New Zealand Credit Union Central is the only banking facility in the community.

Anyone with information has been urged to contact Sergeant Bryan Newcombe at Murupara Police on (07) 366 1170, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.