Grocery Store Clerk Arrested on Suspicion of Setting Bank ATMs on Fire
NOVATO — Bank ATMs are equipped with security cameras that record everything that happens in proximity to them. Accordingly, this includes a grocery store clerk arrested on suspicion of setting ATMs on fire.
For unknown reasons, a man decided to try setting some ATM machines on fire, outside Chase Bank located at 1535 Grant Avenue. This bizarre incident happened during the beginning of lunch hour on September 22.
A man with a cigarette lighter approached two ATMs. He proceeded to place a lit lighter alongside the slots where ATM bankcards are normally inserted, and where receipts are dispensed.
The entire incident was recorded and reported to police by bank employees. The flame from the lighter caused an estimated $950 in damages to the machines. No money was reported missing.
Investigating officers reviewed video recordings and identified a grocery store clerk, as the person suspected of doing this.
The suspect is Jose Augustin Hernandez-Torres, a 34-year-old resident of Novato. Hernandez-Torres was contacted a few hours later in a commercial area, about one mile away from the scorched ATMs.
Hernandez-Torres was arrested at 5:11 p.m., at 1531 South Novato Boulevard, without further incident.
The suspect was transported and booked into Marin County Jail. He remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bond. For his actions, Hernandez-Torres presently faces open charges for committing arson.