Robbers raided nine ATMs across Andalucia with ‘pizzas’

Gang robbed nine ATMs with 'pizza' method

'Pizza shovel' robbers caught in the act. Credit: PoliciaNacional/X

The National Police have reported a technique used by gangs targeting ATMs across southern Spain, known as the ‘Pizza Slide.’

A report issued on Saturday, February 3, has detailed exactly how far criminals will go to get quick cash.

Recently, robbers have employed an explosive method known as the ‘Pizza Slide’ or ‘Pizza Shovel’ technique to rob a total of nine ATMs in Granada, Cordoba, Malaga and Almeria and  Badajoz.

In September 2023, a bank in Motril, Granada, fell victim to this outrageous technique, with the culprits making off with nearly €40,000 and causing equal damage to the bank’s structure.

A new wave of ATM robbery

The ‘Pizza Slide’ technique involves a homemade explosive device, crafted within a square metal container filled with gunpowder.

This device is then inserted into the ATM’s dispensing slot using a metal rod, resembling a pizza chef’s shovel.

The explosive, connected to a long wire for remote detonation, forces the ATM open, allowing thieves to plunder the cash inside.

According to police, ‘the material that the group used to make the artisanal explosives was composed of commonly used pyrotechnic gunpowder that they adapted and pressed to make the “pizzas.”‘

Criminal network uncovered

Investigations into the dangerous heists led to the identification of a criminal group across several Andalusian provinces and Badajoz.

A significant breakthrough in the case was the arrest of a father-son duo in Cordoba, suspected members of the gang.

Their operation also involved a sophisticated system of using intermediaries in dire financial straits to rent luxury vehicles under false pretences for the heists.

Police also managed to to locate a third member of the criminal structure in Cordoba and a fourth in Almeria, who in addition to allegedly participating in some of the robberies, managed to obtain luxury rental vehicles to use during robberies with changed license plates.

A crackdown on explosive theft

The culmination of the police investigation led to a coordinated raid resulting in seven arrests across Cordoba, Malaga, and Almeria.

Among those detained were the primary suspects in the ATM explosions, as well as individuals implicated in the vehicle rental scheme.

Authorities seized explosive devices, ammunition, and other materials linked to the robberies, halting further planned attacks and potentially more violent crimes.

In order to carry out the arrests, seven homes were searched – six in Cordoba and one in Almeria – in which two explosive devices ready to be used, ammunition for rifles, accessories to commit the assaults and €1,000 in cash were seized.

This crackdown not only highlights the lengths to which thieves will go to steal cash but also the meticulous efforts of law enforcement to protect public property and safety.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.


    • Chris poulter

      03 February 2024 • 16:29


    • Anne

      04 February 2024 • 11:04

      Oh LOL! You just gave other potential thieves step-by-step instructions on the pizza method!

    Comments are closed.