Thieves' crime spree targeting ATMs may be over

July 11, 2013 10:54:59 AM PDT
It was a big win for police as they battle an epidemic of smash and grab robberies in our area. Two men suspected of hitting two stores overnight are now behind bars. Police think they might be connected to nearly a dozen other cases.

Josue Carmona was stocking shelves around 4:15am at the Valero Store in the 8300 block of Knight Road, when suddenly he heard a loud noise.

A pickup backed into the store's front window, shattering the glass. Surveillance video shows four men walking by the truck, immediately heading for the store's ATM. One of the men shouted in Carmona's direction.

"He just told me something, 'Stay there and don't do nothing!' He just said only that," said Carmona. "I'll be honest with you, I felt really scared."

The suspects wrestled with the ATM, trying to drag it out of the store, pulling it through the shattered glass.

"That people put it in the truck, took the ATM machine outside, and tried to take the money outside," Carmona said.

The suspects took off, but according to police, a truck with the same description smashed into another Valero store at Highway 59 and Gessner an hour and a half later. This time the suspects left the ATM behind.

A short time later, an officer spotted the damaged pickup parked next to a blue Impala at a Chevron station at Highway 59 and Beechnut. Inside the Impala, officers found tools, masks and clothes, some of which matched what the suspects in the surveillance video were wearing.

Police are still looking for three other suspects who were seen on the surveillance video. They believe this group of suspects is responsible for several other smash and grab robberies in the past couple months.

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