bank robbers in northeastern Ohio have tried to put a new spin on an old art. Four times over the last five weeks robbers have attempted to make off with entire automatic teller machines in the Akron and Canton areas. They've even gone so far as to steal a pair of forklifts for their escapades, which have netted them no money. They've only succeeded in littering the area with busted up ATMs. "I'm surprised that these folks continue to try," said Neil Cotiaux, a spokesman for Bank One Akron, where an attempt was made on its Stow branch Oct. 4. "They're not getting the message that this is a very difficult caper to pull off." The first attempt was made early Oct. 3, when a forklift was commandeered from a nearby construction site and driven to Akron-based FirstMerit Corp.'s First National Bank of Ohio branch in Bath Township. The bid failed, though, as the ATM, which weighs up to 3,500 pounds, was found tipped over. A day later another forklift was stolen in an attempt at the Bank One ATM. The criminals did manage to lift the machine off its base, but police believe the ploy failed when it fell out the bed of a pickup. Similar attempts in Cuyahoga Falls on Oct. 23 and in Jackson Township on Nov. 1 also met with failure, although police believe the robbers did succeed in shorting out power to about 800 residents in the latter effort. The facing of the Bank One ATM in Cuyahoga Falls was pulled off with chains. A chain was wrapped around an ATM at FirstMerit's Citizens National Bank to yank it from the building. R. Kevin Dietrich

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