The bad guy in the cartoon is saying, “See you later, Love. I’m off to make a withdrawal from the ATM.”
The joke might not register in most places. But, if you live in Brazil, you get it right away.
The country, you see, is awash in a new kind of crime: blowing up ATMs in order to get at the cash .
It all started in Joinville, in Santa Catarina.
Back then, the technique was to use acetylene torches to cut one’s way to the money. But the criminals soon progressed to a more efficient method.
Each machine, when recently supplied, commonly contains about US 150,000 in cash.
So hitting two or three machines at the same time can provide a hefty quantity of swag. And at less risk than hitting a bank during operating hours.
The machines are equipped with devices to stain the money with dye. But it doesn’t seem to be helping.
And supermarkets, which used to contain the machines in abundance, have begun balking at being broken into and having their premises blown up. So ATMs are, lamentably, becoming scarcer throughout Brazil while the manufacturers work hard to make them bombproof.
This map, already more than two months old, shows the number of exploded cash machines, in 2012, in the State of São Paulo alone.
Brazil has 26 States.
And the phenomenon is occurring in all of them.
Here, for your edification, is a video showing a truly professional gang at work:
It’s a thing of beauty – if you’re a crook.
Leighton - Monday