Man uses torch hoping to steal from ATM in Madera

This man used a torch to break into an ATM in Madera. (Courtesy: Madera Police)

FRESNO, Calif. (FOX26) -- A man used a torch hoping to steal money from an ATM machine in Madera.

Now, police need your help to find him.

The crime happened on August 12th at the Chase Bank branch of Yosemite Avenue and C Street-- and it was caught on camera.

Video shows the man driving up to the ATM in a dark-colored, two-door Mercedes Benz around 4:00 a.m.

While it looks like he overshot the machine in his car, police say there was something else going on.

"He kind of looks around the area to make sure he's not being seen," says Sgt. Mark Trukki, with Madera Police.

Moments later, he brings out an oxy-acetylene torch and uses it on the machine.

"This is the first time I've ever seen it in my 25 years," Trukki said.

In the video, you can even see the sparks flying, as he cuts through the metal-- oblivious to the fact the bank is along one of Madera's busiest streets and just blocks from the police department.

"That brazen, to go to an ATM Machine and try to use a torch to open it. It's pretty rare," Trukki said.

At one point, he appears to struggle with the torch and stops to look for oncoming traffic.

He packs up and calls it a day, leaving empty-handed and plenty of damage behind.

The kicker?

"If he would have made it past the exterior metal, there is a fortified safe inside the ATM," Trukki said.

Police featured the would-be crook on their "Who Is This Wednesday?" series on Facebook.

They hope someone will recognize the man-- or the car.

It did not have a front license plate.

"One would think if times are hard like that you wouldn't be driving a Mercedes Benz," Trukki said. "This is totally out of the norm."

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