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ATM thief ambushed on third attempts

A thief armed with a percussion drill tried to steal an ATM but failed three times, a local district court heard yesterday.

Sun Fucheng, 22, from Liaoning Province, pleaded guilty at the Hongkou District People's Court. But he didn't agree that the ATM had more than 800,000 yuan in it as charged by the prosecutors.

"I didn't expect so much money in the machine," Sun defended himself in the court. "I just planned to steal some money from the machine, not all."

Prosecutors suggested a minimum sentence of 10 years on Sun, considering the huge amount of money he tried to steal, though he failed to get any. The court didn't hand down the verdict after the hearing.

Sun told the court he decided to steal because his wallet and cell phone were stolen when he visited the China Pavilion on September 26, 2010.

"I should recover my loss. Now that others stole my money, I should steal it back," he said.

When he passed a bank one day last October, he happened to see a clerk open an ATM to repair it. He then thought of destroying the key hole to open the ATM, the court heard.

After buying a portable percussion drill, he went to a self-service bank in Hongkou District on the early morning of October 17, 2010. He selected an ATM in the corner put a plastic bag on his head and used a stick to turn away the surveillance camera. When he tried to plug in the drill, he found the plug didn't match the socket. He had to escape quickly.

He went to the same place two days later with the right plug but found this time there was no power in the socket. He didn't give up, however. On his third trip to the bank on the early morning of October 24, he was ambushed by police.

The bank's record showed there was altogether 864,200 yuan in cash in the ATM during his three attempted thefts.


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