Business offering big reward for arrest of ATM thieves

Published: Oct. 13, 2011 at 7:00 PM CDT|Updated: Nov. 10, 2011 at 4:32 PM CST
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Thieves have stolen a second ATM in north Alabama this week. In both cases, the suspects used a forklift to pull the machines right out of the ground.

One of the ATMs was stolen from the SunTrust Bank on Cox Creek Parkway in Florence. Another was stolen from Harmon Scrap Metal off Highway 231 in Hazel Green overnight Friday into Saturday morning.

Harmon's owner is hoping surveillance video of the crime will lead to arrests.

Employee Tessa Singleton said this is the second time crooks have targeted the ATM. Thieves broke into it back in August when it was first installed, but at that time it was filled with fake money.

Saturday's theft took more than three hours and as many as four men and a forklift. The only thing left behind was the ATM's screen console.

"They were determined," Singleton said.

Harmon shared surveillance video of the crime with WAFF 48 News, showing the suspects running around the scrap yard after cutting through a fence and breaking out lights so they wouldn't be seen.

"They just kind of knew the area, where to come in and what to do," Singleton said.

The most ridiculous thing about this crime is that the crooks used the business' own equipment to make away with their ATM.

"We had put some extra reinforcements, and they broke those down with the Bobcat and got a chain, wrapped it around the ATM, and pulled it out," Singleton said.

On top of the money stolen from the ATM, Singleton said the suspects caused tens of thousands of dollars in property damage.

"We're actually looking at anywhere from $80,000 to $100,000 worth of damage," she said.

Despite the damage, Harmon is back to business as usual, buying and recycling scrap metal.

In the meantime, they hope someone will recognize the thieves in the video and turn them in for reward money.

The business is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to arrests and convictions.

Call the Madison County Sheriff's Department Criminal Investigations Division at (256) 533-8820 with any information.

Copyright 2011 WAFF. All rights reserved.