Duo hit vending machines after failed ATM robbery

George Town - Frustrated at their failed attempt to rob an automatic teller machine at Universiti Sains Malaysia main campus in Minden here, two men broke two water vending machines nearby and escaped with only coins.

Earlier, the two had managed to break open the steel cover of the ATM but failed to dislodge the safe containing the currency boxes.

The suspects, believed to be outsiders, had climbed over the gate near the Sungai Dua entrance before using the same route for their escape in the 3.30am incident yesterday.

The authorities managed to trace their escape route from the coins which the robbers had dropped.

CCTV camera footage showed one of the suspects puffing away as he pried open the steel cover of the ATM.

He then ran away after the alarm system was triggered.

The ATM machine and vending machines, located near the campus mosque, are about 50m from the Sungai Dua entrance which was closed then.

USM vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Omar Osman said they would beef up security in the campus by increasing the number of CCTV cameras.

"We will review our security protocols.

"Instead of taking in more security personnel, we will install more CCTV cameras in strategic spots.

"The campus is big and the perimeter fencing covers a wide area," he said at a press conference at the campus yesterday.

Prof Omar said there are four entrances in USM - Sungai Dua, Minden Heights, Jalan Bukit Gambier and Gelugor.

All the gates, except for Jalan Bukit Gambier, are closed between midnight and 5.30am daily.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Gan Kong Meng said the losses have yet to be ascertained.

"My men received a call from a security company, informing us that the alarm at the ATM machine was triggered.

"Our forensics team has lifted fingerprints from the scene," he said.