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1 killed as thieves blow up, steal ATMs in Philadelphia

One man was killed and explosions punctuated the overnight hours in Philadelphia as thieves blew up and stole ATMs across the city in what authorities believe was a “coordinated” effort, police said Tuesday.

At least 10 machines were vandalized, mainly at neighborhood convenience stores and gas stations, police said. The thieves mainly blew up the machines before making off with the cash. In some cases, they stole entire machines.

It wasn’t clear who was behind the ATM thefts. They came as police have been trying to cope with large demonstrations against police brutality and widespread vandalism and theft from businesses in a number of areas of the city.

Police said a 24-year-old man died several hours after attempting to break into an ATM with explosives in north Philadelphia early Tuesday. Police said live explosives were recovered. His name wasn’t immediately released.

Also in north Philadelphia, an ATM was snatched from a mini-mart and the windows of a gas station were smashed before thieves drove off with the ATM, WPVI-TV reported.

No arrests were immediately announced. Police commissioner Danielle Outlaw said the thefts are believed to be “organized” and “coordinated” efforts, and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is taking the lead in the investigation.

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