The “Great Nong Plalai ATM Robbery” turned out to be a whole lot less spectacular after Siam Commercial Bank admitted their staffers had removed the cash from a broken machine, but forgot to replace the cover.
Police responded to a 7-Eleven at the Rotfai Market in the Nongketyai area of Nong Plalai around 4:30 a.m. Dec. 16 after reports that an automated teller machine had been pried open and the cash boxes taken.
Excitement turned to mundane when police learned there was no great ATM caper, just forgetful bank employees.
Although ATMs are infamously difficult to break into, the story of the great caper was fueled by convenience store clerks who said they suspected three men who came into buy tweezers after their card was captured by the machine likely were the burglars.
Police let out a groan a few hours later, however, when they contacted the local Siam Commercial branch responsible for the ATM and discovered that there had been no theft: The machine had been out of service since the day before and technicians who came to repair it earlier that day encountered too many problems.
So, with no quick fixes in the works, the techs removed the cash boxes and took them back safely to the bank. However, they forgot to reinstall the cover that keeps the baht away from the bad guys, making it look like someone had made off with millions.