SAN DIEGO—A Chula Vista man who blew up two ATMs in an attempt to steal the money inside was sentenced Jan. 27 to more than 11 years in federal prison.
Chad Engel, 50, pleaded guilty to federal charges last year for his role in an explosion that damaged one ATM at a California Coast Credit Union and another that destroyed an ATM at a gas station in Miramar.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office says that on July 4, 2017, Engel and co-defendant Scott Petri planted a pipe bomb underneath an ATM at the California Coast Credit Union on Ruffin Road. The explosion damaged the machine, but the men were not able to access the money within.
On Aug. 13, 2017, according to prosecutors, the men targeted an ATM located outside a Chevron station on Miramar Road. They drilled a hole into the machine’s housing, pumped gas inside, and ignited it. The explosion destroyed the machine and the men fled with cash.
According to a sentencing memorandum from Engel’s defense attorney, the two incidents “yielded a grand total of $3,420.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said the men also broke into a National City laundromat on June 18, 2017, and tried to break into an ATM. They were unsuccessful at getting into the machine but stole about $140 from the laundromat, according to prosecutors.
One week later, they stole an ATM from a Rancho Penasquitos gas station, moved it elsewhere and cut into the machine in order to take the money inside, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Petri pleaded guilty and was sentenced last year to a time-served sentence for almost five years already spent behind bars. Engel received a 138-month sentence on Friday.