Florida ATM bomber makes off with cash after third explosion

Florida ATM bomber makes off with cash
Florida ATM bomber makes off with cash 01:51

Tampa, Florida — The search is on in Tampa Bay for a man who bombed his way into a bank's cash machine after multiple attempts. Police said someone could get hurt if he's not captured soon.

Early Sunday morning, the masked man, who police believe is behind the robberies, spray-painted over the security cameras outside a Regions Bank near Tampa, before strapping a bomb to the drive-up ATM and blowing open its money-filled vault. 

"I think that this individual is inexperienced. And he's been playing with this recipe, and played with it enough to be successful enough to access the safe within the ATM," said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister.

The same man may be responsible for two other early morning ATM bombings since November. In both, security cameras were spray-painted before the drive-up ATMs were blown up. But the suspect left empty-handed, failing to blast his way to the cash. 

There was a third ATM explosion in Florida over the weekend. Officials believe the same suspect is responsible. WTSP

Investigators think the suspect and his potential accomplice may have targeted that same Regions branch before. The bank's cameras were spray-painted in July and again in September. In December, a fourth area bank had its cameras tagged. 

The sheriff won't say how much the suspect made off with. But ATMs can be loaded with up to $200,000 dollars. The FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the hunt for the bomber.

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    Kris Van Cleave is the transportation correspondent for CBS News based in Washington, D.C.