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China: Around The Nation

Sacked Chinese factory worker takes it out on bank ATM

Unemployed 19-year-old sets cash machine on fire then extinguishes runaway flames with what’s at hand

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 16 May, 2017, 5:10pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 May, 2017, 10:07am

A young man newly fired from his job in Shanghai vented his anger by smashing a bank automated teller machine (ATM) then setting it alight, according to a news website.

But suddenly the fire started to grow bigger. Fearing it would get out of control, he began blowing air on it furiously, but when that didn’t work he urinated on it, police said citing surveillance footage, Thepaper.cn reported.

The incident took place at the start of the month but the 19-year-old man was only taken into custody recently. He was later formally arrested for destroying the ATM.

The surveillance video showed him at first painting the camera lens with a black marker pen before striking it with a hammer that he was carried in his bag.

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He then took out a small container of lighter fluid and squirted some around the slot where the cash was dispensed. Finally, he lit a candle which he used it to burn the camera and set fire to the cash dispensing slot.

As the fire becoming bigger, he tried to extinguish it by blowing towards the flames with his mouth.

Seeing it didn’t work, the man then urinated on the flames, which effectively put out the fire.

The ATM is worth about 120,000 yuan (US$17,400), according to police officers in Pudong District where the case happened.

The man told police he committed the crime because he lost his job and had no money. “I will let others find out they can not withdraw money from the bank,” he was quoted as saying.