An attempted theft of an ATM at the BPI bank at Quatro Estradas near Almancil on November 19 failed when a JCB digger being used by the thieves malfunctioned.
A resident who lives above the bank told Portuguese daily newspaper Correio da Manhã: “It felt like an earthquake. The whole house was shaking and I thought it was going to collapse.
“The robbers managed to remove the ATM from the wall and drag it to the floor. When they were trying to put the ATM in a pick-up truck, they hit the building where the ATM machine was with the digger arm, causing damage and making the machine inoperative.”
The thieves then made their escape, leaving the destroyed ATM behind.
The first floor of the building was damaged, the ground-floor partially torn down and the digger damaged.
The modus operandi of this theft is similar to more than a dozen other robberies of ATMs in the Algarve in the past year.
A spokesman from BPI bank at Quatro Estradas told the Algarve Resident: “Stronger security measures to prevent cases like this one from happening again can be implemented. The Central Management Direction of the bank will decide on future security measures.”