Police charge minor after finding something fishy at Utah ATMs
Jan 18, 2024, 10:47 AM | Updated: 2:14 pm
PROVO — It’s common for police to go after the “big fish” in any investigation. But sometimes they’ll go after the smaller fish. Or in the case of a recent Provo police investigation, the person leaving fish taped to ATMs around town.
In an unusual case, Provo police say they have found the person responsible for taping real fish to mainly ATMs in Provo and Orem between August and November.
A 17-year-old boy was referred to 4th District Juvenile Court for two misdemeanor counts of causing property damage. But police believe the teen is responsible for a dozen or more incidents.
Bonneville Bank in Provo reported on Sept. 26 that a fish had been taped to its ATM outside the bank. As detectives were investigating the case, they found an Instagram account with the username “fish_bandit84.”
The Instagram bio states, “Live, laugh, tape fish on ATMs 🐠🏧 No fish were harmed in the process.”
The account has viral videos with over 52,000 faithful followers who keep tabs on where the fish bandit will strike next.
The photos and videos feature different types of fish, and sometimes more than one fish, taped to ATM screens.
The account shows 14 videos posted Aug. 4 through Nov. 10, of fish being taped to several ATMs, one on the bathroom door of what appears to be a sportsman business and one was taped to a Provo police car, according to court documents.
A video posted on Nov. 10, 2023, shows fish taped to a Provo Police Department car. The user commented on the video, “Don’t tag the department.”
One video is captioned, “We’re going international,” and appears to be filmed at an ATM in Japan.
Provo police say a teenager was referred to juvenile court after he taped fish to ATMs between August and November.
Provo officers served a search warrant in late December in an effort to identify the Instagram account user. After a suspect was identified, he was referred to juvenile court near the end of last year and the case was closed.
Police do not know where the teen got the fish. Detectives also say they are not aware of any motive or possible message the suspect was trying to promote. They believe his actions were simply meant to be a joke. Police say the fish caused minimal damage.