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Police: Same suspect may be behind Florida ATM explosions

TAMPA, Fla. — Three strikes, and he’s in.

A thief who authorities in Florida said likely blew up three ATMs was able to take money from a Regions Bank in Valrico on Sunday. The first two blasts didn’t yield cash, news outlets reported.

The other explosions happened at a BB&T in Oldsmar in November, and a Pilot Bank in Tampa in December. All three locations are in the Tampa Bay area.

In the Valrico and Tampa explosions, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said the suspect painted the lenses of surveillance cameras black just before the blasts.

Surveillance camera lenses were also painted black and ATMs tampered with at the Regions in Valrico in July and September, as well as a Chase bank in the Westchase area in December, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The suspect may be working with an accomplice but was often seen on surveillance video acting alone, Chronister said. The thief was seen on surveillance images wearing dark clothing with a cloth mask that only revealed his eyes.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI are working with the Hillsborough and Pinellas county sheriff’s offices in the investigation. Authorities have also asked for the public’s help tracking down the suspect or suspects.

The Associated Press