SEATTLE — Thieves used a truck to steal an ATM from a Walgreens on Rainier Avenue South Thursday, doing significant damage in the process.
The theft is the latest in a string of brazen and dangerous tactics criminals are using to get away with cash.
“Well I think it’s a shame I’m just happy that the people that work here weren’t on duty when it happened because I know them well and they're all just really nice people,” said Seattle resident Robin Rolstad.
Around 2 a.m., a group of people smashed a pickup truck through the front doors of the Walgreens in order to crush the ATM located near the entrance. When the machine broke open, they took off with the cash.
"This is more than just compelling video, this is interrupting lives and the livelihoods of those businesses," said Captain Tim Meyer with the King County Sheriff's Department (KCSO).
KCSO said it is investigating seven other ATM thefts this year alone. The Seattle Police Department believes the same group may be behind more than a dozen similar ATM thefts. In most of these incidents, suspects generally use a stolen truck as a battering ram and drive through the front doors to gain access to the ATM machine.
Cameras inside Ken’s Market in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood captured thieves using a stolen forklift to squeeze through the door where they proceeded to drag an ATM out and into the bed of a pickup.
“I don’t recall this occurring in the time I’ve served here in the sheriff’s office... I can think of no period of time, and I’ve been with the agency coming on 14 years now, where I’ve seen seven of these, such brazen atm thefts in such a short period of time,” Meyer continued.
Just today Seattle police released new pictures of the suspects in the hopes someone recognizes the people who are possibly behind several of the crimes.
If the suspects are caught they could be looking at multiple charges including theft, vandalism, and burglary from just one ATM theft.