ATM robbery attempts land Jacob Burns in jail


A man’s failed attempts to steal ATMs, cash, fuel and alcohol were described as ‘unsophisticated’ by a district court judge.

Jacob Burns, 24, was sentenced in Tamworth District Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty to 13 offenses including attempted robbery, stalking and intimidating and aggressive breaking and entering.

The charges related to several incidents in northern New South Wales.

The court heard the Wee Waa man first used a crowbar in an attempt to steal an ATM from Australia’s Bingara Regional Bank.

The machine held over $28,000 at the time.

He was in plain sight of the main street intersection as he unsuccessfully attempted to remove the machine from its station.

The Regional Australia Bank is located at the intersection of Bingara’s two main streets.(Provided: Google Maps)

The court also heard Mr Burns enter a Santos building in Narrabri in November 2019 where he stole 30 liters of gasoline from jerry cans, worth $125.

He then approached a motorcycle and attempted to fill it with fuel, but was unsuccessful and instead damaged the motorcycle.

Mr Burns and two other men then raided the Werris Creek Tennis and Bowling Club in a stolen ute in December 2019.

They attempted to drag an ATM out of the building’s glass doors.

The machine’s bolts eventually came loose within 10 minutes and the men managed to free the ATM while destroying the glass doors.

The court heard ratchet straps on the back of the ute come loose, sending the machine, which contained more than $50,000 inside, across the street outside the club.

Wee Waa road sign
A 24-year-old man, Wee Waa, was imprisoned for his crimes.(ABC: Laura Brierley Newton)

Burns was arrested after another incident a month later.

The Wee Waa Golf Club was robbed in January 2020 where two cartons of alcohol and $70 in cash were stolen.

However, a can of Bundaberg rum, Mr. Burns and an accomplice brought into the building were left behind.

Their vehicle at the scene was also later recognized by its distinctive gray tape.

Police arrested three men in March 2020, including Jacob Burns.

“A certain degree of planning”

The court heard on Tuesday that Burns had a difficult life growing up in juvenile facilities.

Judge Payne called his crimes a degree of planning, but GPS tracking meant he was inevitably going to fail.

“In my view, there are good prospects for rehabilitation,” Judge Payne said.

man taken away in a police van
Jacob Burns was sentenced to 2 years and 11 months in prison.(Provided: New South Wales Police)

Mr Burns was given a cumulative sentence of 4 years, reduced to 2 years and 11 months given his sentence already served and strict bail conditions.

He had been under house arrest since December 2020, with only his mother, father and longtime partner allowed to accompany him to limited places in the city.

‘I’m sorry it took so long in court to get your sentence handed down, Mr Burns,’ Judge Payne said.

“It’s okay,” Burns replied.

“There are many more people in the world than me.”


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