Investigators ramp-up efforts after third ATM explosion

Multiple agencies across at least two Bay Area counties, plus the FBI and ATF, are investigating three explosions and several incidents of suspicious activity and tampering at bank ATMs.

Suspects were successful in taking money from an exploded ATM this weekend, and similarities with at least one previous case prompted Hillsborough County officials to publicly link several incidents.

Thee ATMs have been blown up at banks in the Bay Area.

This weekend’s explosion happened at a Regions Bank in Valrico. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect spray-painted surveillance cameras with black paint before the explosion.

The first known case of an ATM explosion happened at BB&T Bank in Oldsmar on November 4. Pinellas County sheriff’s investigators have not officially connected the incident with incidents in Hillsborough County. It’s not known whether any cash was taken after the explosion.

The second explosion happened Dec. 22 at Pilot Bank on Linebaugh Ave. in the Westchase area. No cash was taken from the scene, according to HCSO.

Suspect seen at Pilot Bank,12471 W Linebaugh Ave, 3 a.m. Dec. 22. (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

The three explosions are not the only incidents being investigated with this case.

Investigators say the suspect appears to have visited the scene of Sunday’s explosion at least twice in the past. Surveillance cameras at the Valrico Regions Bank spotted the suspect July 7, 2019 - and again Sept. 5.

Also linked to the explosions is an incident at Chase Bank on Countryway Boulevard in Tampa. On Dec. 8, investigators say a suspect spray-painted the surveillance camera and tampered with the ATM.

Suspect spray-paints camera at Chase Bank

Suspect tampers with ATM at Chase Bank

The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office released surveillance images of two suspects from Regions Bank taken July 7, 2019.

Suspects at Regions Bank, Valrico, July 7

Suspect spray-paints camera at Regions Bank, Valrico, July 7

Suspect at Regions Bank, Valrico, July 7

The suspects were wearing masks and dark clothing, but investigators said they both appeared to be male.

Sheriff Chad Chronister urged the public to watch for suspicious activity around bank ATMs and asked anyone who hears the sound of an explosion to call 911 right away.