A March attempt to blow up an automatic teller machine in Halls Head is a "copycat" crime and not directly linked to earlier attacks on ATMs in the area, according to police.

Security cameras filmed a man at a BP Service Station on Peelwood Parade at about 3am on Monday, March 24.

Less than an hour later a man used a gas bottle and fuel to ignite an ANZ ATM at the Halls Head Centro Shopping Centre.

Regional Investigations Unit detectives have been investigating similar attacks since October and believe most of the incidents, including the one on March 24, have been "copycat" crimes.

Detective Senior Sergeant Wayne Davies said the latest attack was unusual because the offenders left the gas bottle at the ATM as they attempted to breach the machine.

"This is a particular concern to us as the presence of the gas bottle significantly increases the danger of what is already quite clearly a dangerous crime," he said.

"In the March 24 incident, a small business owner was going about his business just a few doors away from the ATM. He could have been seriously injured or killed, as could the offenders or anyone who happened to walk past at the wrong time."

Det-Sgt Davies such attacks were rarely successful but always posed an enormous risk to the public.

Anyone with any information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The Australian Bankers' Association is ala offering rewards of up to $50,000 for information regarding these crimes.

The West Australian

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