The number of blown up ATMs in Germany remains at a high level. Although several state criminal investigation offices (LKA) spoke of a slight decline, there were more cases in other federal states. This was the result of a survey by the German Press Agency. Nationwide data for 2023 is not yet available.

More than 470 attacks have been reported so far. Since the investigators in the countries use different cut-off dates as the basis for their numbers, it is not yet possible to say whether the previous year’s figure will be reached. In 2022, the police nationwide registered a new high of 496 cases of ATM explosions.

The investigators in Lower Saxony spoke of a significant decline compared to previous years. By the beginning of December there had been 36 attacks on ATMs. In comparison, there were a total of 68 acts in 2022. The Bavarian State Criminal Police Office registered 21 ATM explosions by shortly before the end of the year, after 37 attacks in the previous year. The LKA in Saxony also reported a slight decrease in the number of cases.

Growth in the north

There are also signs of a decline in North Rhine-Westphalia. Shortly before the end of the year, according to the LKA, the number was 153 attacks. If it stays that way, it would be a decrease of 16 percent compared to the record year of 2022, when 182 ATMs were attacked.

In the north, however, there was an increase. In Schleswig-Holstein, the LKA recorded a slight increase, but at the same time pointed out fluctuations in the number of blown-up machines in previous years. An LKA spokeswoman said twelve explosions had been recorded in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania by December 5th. In 2022, the investigators did not record a single crime. In 2021 there were five.

According to the LKA, at least 40 devices have been destroyed in Baden-Württemberg since the turn of the year, some with brute force. According to the LKA, the robbers, who often come from the Netherlands, struck 34 times last year. According to the authorities there, there were 60 attacks in Hesse until shortly before the turn of the year – a record high.

Millions in damage caused by explosions

According to the General Association of the German Insurance Industry, the cases last year resulted in damage of a good 110 million euros. The damage to the devices and buildings is usually more serious than the damage from the theft of money. There are around 55,000 ATMs nationwide.

More than a year ago, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) invited people to a “round table on ATM explosions”. In June she spoke out in favor of greater use of color adhesive cartridges in the machines. She referred to experiences in the Netherlands, where they had managed to get the problem under control by dyeing and sticking the money.

In November, the police in Osnabrück reported several arrests and many searches in Germany and the Netherlands. There had been several arrests of suspects from the Netherlands in the previous months.

A particularly spectacular case occurred in Thuringia at the end of September: While fleeing from the police, four suspected ATM bombers crashed their car into a river in the Sömmerda district. One of the men was rescued dead from the car. The three other suspected perpetrators had been caught.