Mawdo Malick Sallah (left), Kirk Douglas Johnson
Photo: Oconee County Sheriff's Office
Photo: Oconee County Sheriff's Office

Cops: 2 men arrested after blowing up ATM in North Georgia, failing to steal any cash

A duo accused of carrying out a series of successful ATM robberies by blowing them up in Florida allegedly took a crack at trying the same thing in North Georgia.

To say their plan backfired would be an understatement.

Not only were they arrested, but they didn’t manage to steal a cent, authorities said.

Mawdo Malick Sallah, 33, of Clearwater, Fla., and Kirk Douglas Johnson, 34, of Anderson, were arrested Saturday night after the failed burglary attempt, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. 

Their target was the ATM at the Bank of the Ozarks at the intersection of Virgil Lankford Road and Epps Bridge Parkway, the release said. 

“The homemade device literally blew the ATM up, however the safe inside was left intact and was not breached,” according to the sheriff’s office. “... The type of device or how it is made will not be released.”


Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry announces that two people have been arrested and charged with blowing up an ATM...

Posted by Oconee County Georgia Sheriff's Office on Monday, March 23, 2020

The duo were caught by Jackson County deputies and charged with first-degree arson, manufacture of an explosive device, second-degree criminal damage to property and conspiracy to commit a felony, the release said.

Sallah and Johnson are accused of stealing about $70,000 by exploding ATMs in the Tampa Bay, Fla., area, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. The Florida thefts took place between November and January.

They were booked into the Oconee County Jail, where they remained without bond Monday evening. The charges they face carry a mandatory minimum term of five years and up to 20 years in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the FBI and several local law enforcement agencies assisted in investigating this case.

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