BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – Police with the University of Colorado are trying to track down the man responsible for a botched burglary attempt at an ATM on campus.

A surveillance camera captured the man dressed in full protective gear and a helmet spraying acid onto the ATM, which is located at the Center for Community building. The crime took place on May 29 at 2:30 a.m.

(credit: University of Colorado Police)

(credit: University of Colorado Police)

“This is the first time I’ve seen something like this where someone used a chemical trying to burn their way in. Had they gotten into the machine, they still would have needed to get into the money vault,” CU police spokesman Sgt. Michael Lowry said.

The burglar apparently didn’t know that, because he returned a second and then a third time, apparently waiting for the acid solution to burn a hole through the lock. In those return trips he no longer was wearing protective gear. He had no success breaking into the machine.

(credit: University of Colorado Police)

(credit: University of Colorado Police)

Lowry said no one apparently saw the crime while it was in progress.

“In one of the videos we see him hiding behind these pillars, and it looks like someone came along and probably heard something and startled him. If someone had come up to the machine I don’t know what would have happened,” he said.

Police figured out what had happened when a student tried to use the ATM a few days later and reportedly got chemical burns on their hands.

Authorities said the ATM was damaged beyond repair by the thief’s actions.

Additional Resources

The University of Colorado Boulder Police Department shared the following information in relation to the case:

Anyone with information concerning the identity of the suspect is asked to call Detective Sergeant Michael Lowry at (303) 492-8168. Those who have information on these crimes but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted via the Crime Stoppers website at Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.


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