Many cash machines in the Netherlands will be closed for business during overnight hours amid a massive increase in heist attempts by thieves using explosives, according to reports.
Criminals have made it common practice to set off incendiary devices inside ATMs in an attempt to access cash inside, with 71 such attacks occurring so far in 2019 – up from 43 in 2018.
The Dutch Banking Association (NVB) has announced many cash machines will be placed in "standby mode" between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. every night.
Additionally, ATMs located in residential buildings and areas with high population density will be moved to "to limit damage from the resultant explosions," NL Times reports.
"Most of the ATM bombings this year, up through November, focused on ABN Amro's machines due to a vulnerability. It led the bank to remove about 470 of its cash machines across the Netherlands, though officials said it was likely other banks would be attacked instead. A string of attacks followed involving Rabobank ATMs."
Thieves are reportedly known to fill a machine's transaction slots with combustible gases or explosive devices and detonate them, often causing substantial damage to surrounding structures.
"The security features in ATMs remain unaffected," NVB explained in a statement.
"The deactivated ATMs are less accessible, which means that [an explosive theft] is less likely to succeed."
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