7 suspects crashed stolen truck into SW Houston smoke shop in attempt to steal Bitcoin ATM, HPD says

Charly Edsitty Image
Friday, May 26, 2023
7 arrested after using stolen truck to crash into smoke shop, HPD says
HPD said it appeared that the suspects were trying to take a Bitcoin ATM, but were not successful. ABC13 spoke to the shop owner, who was devastated to see her business targeted again.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Seven people are in custody after a group tried to steal an ATM in an attempted smash-and-grab at a smoke shop in southwest Houston Friday morning, according to police.

Houston police said the group used a stolen truck to crash into Smokie's Smoke Shop just before 5 a.m. in the 15000 block of Beechnut Street.

Surveillance video from the shop shows the moment the truck, which was driving in reverse, crashed into the front of the store, shattering all of the glass and causing heavy damage. Then, several people jumped out of the truck and went inside the store.

SkyEye video from above the shop shows the entire front of the store wide open and the doors knocked down.

The owner of the shop told ABC13 several items were stolen, and thieves have targeted her store three or four times in the past.

HPD said it appeared that the suspects were trying to take a Bitcoin ATM, but were not successful.

The shop owner got an alert from her security system and saw what happened from her cameras. She rushed to the business and was devastated to see the damage.

"Please put in the jail, these crazy people. They are not safe. Because they do this almost three or four times. We do hard work and they just do a minute and mess up all things," Fehmida Ali said.

The owner of the stolen truck used in the attempted robbery showed up to the scene after getting a call from HPD. He told ABC13 his truck was stolen on Thursday from an apartment complex off Gessner and Bellaire.

The man said he does home renovation and all of his tools were stolen from the truck. He's upset that his truck was damaged, but thankful it's still drivable.

"They took everything from me. I don't have work right now and I have to look for a job," the truck owner said in Spanish.

HPD said seven suspects were detained and arrested at the scene and no injuries were reported. Investigators did not provide any further information about the people taken into custody.

The smoke shop will likely be closed for the next several days as the cleanup process continues, Ali said. She estimates that the total in damages and losses is around $10,000.

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