Would-be ATM thieves arrested in Oconee Co

Two men are accused of blowing up an ATM in Oconee County. Investigators in the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office say 33 year-old Mawdo Sallah and 34 year-old Kirk Johnson targeted a bank on Virgil Langford Road at Epps Bridge Parkway. Their explosion failed to open the safe, and they got away with nothing. Sallah and Johnson are facing charges that include arson and criminal damage. The pair has allegedly stolen thousands of dollars from automated teller machines in Florida.

From Zachary Hansen, AJC…

Mawdo Malick Sallah, 33, of Clearwater, Fla., and Kirk Douglas Johnson, 34, of Anderson, were arrested Saturday night after the failed burglary attempt, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

Their target was the ATM at the Bank of the Ozarks at the intersection of Virgil Lankford Road and Epps Bridge Parkway, the release said.

“The homemade device literally blew the ATM up, however the safe inside was left intact and was not breached,” according to the sheriff’s office. “... The type of device or how it is made will not be released.”

The duo were caught by Jackson County deputies and charged with first-degree arson, manufacture of an explosive device, second-degree criminal damage to property and conspiracy to commit a felony, the release said.

Sallah and Johnson are accused of stealing about $70,000 by exploding ATMs in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The Florida thefts took place between November and January.

They were booked into the Oconee County Jail, where they remained without bond Monday evening. The charges they face carry a mandatory minimum term of five years and up to 20 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI and several local law enforcement agencies assisted in investigating this case.

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