Bungling Sydney ATM bombers blow up getaway car in attack at Clovelly

BUNGLING bank bandits carjacked a horrified motorist after their own vehicle was damaged by one of their ATM bombs.

The crooks were part of a gang that apparently targeted three ATMs across Sydney early today - at Clovelly, Guildford and Chester Hill.

The heists are the latest in a string of recent blasts, in which it is believed an organised criminal team is using acetylene gas to open ATMs.

Police said today's first incident occurred about 1.45am, when the four men struck at a bank ATM on Clovelly Road at Clovelly.

"The bank has been extensively damaged with debris being spread out across the street," police said.

"The thieves had to abandon their Audi getaway car after it was also damaged in the explosion. The four men ran from the scene."

A witness told The Daily Telegraph that the bombers then held up a passing driver and took over the car to use as a getaway vehicle.

Police cordoned off the area while officers from the Bomb Squad ensured several gas cylinders found in the Audi were safe.

Police used Polair and the dog squad to search the area.

About the same time as the Clovelly attack three males blew up an ATM at a bank on Waldron Street at Chester Hill.

"The front section of the bank and the ATM have been significantly damaged," police said. "It is believed the males escaped the scene in a late model silver Audi."

About 2.15am, an ATM on Guildford Road at Guildford was blown up, again causing a large amount of debris.

"At this stage it is unknown whether any cash has been taken at the three incidents," police said.

"Detectives from Strike Force Piccadilly have been notified and are carrying out investigations."