Five Thieves Have Stolen 73 ATMs In NYC With Just Crowbars And Chains
Police are searching for five suspects who have become the most elusive ATM thieves in recent memory.
On the loose since November 2013, the group has stolen from 73 bank machines spanning throughout every New York City borough but Staten Island, the New York Post reports.
They usually escape with between $1,300 and $12,000 but sometimes leave with nothing if police arrive early enough.
Their targets include bodegas, laundromats, pizzerias and gas stations, some of which have been struck in broad daylight in front of numerous witnesses.
One would expect the gang to rely on sophisticated hacking tools, but they instead use crowbars or chains attached to stolen cars to yank open the machines.
The group is so confident that they robbed a Midtown Manhattan ATM less than a block away from a police station last week.
An anonymous law enforcement source told the Post the thieves have recently sacrificed being seen in exchange for time.
The source said,
Before, they were prying open the machines with hand tools. But now, they're using chains and just taking the boxes, and they're even going into places that are open with witnesses and carrying the ATM out the front door.
The owner of an Ozone Park laundromat said his ATM was robbed before he could come back from taking out the garbage.
Khemraj Sadoo said,
A man came in about 20 minutes before the robbery occurred. He came with a crowbar. He made a little opening next to the lock on the ATM machine. Twenty minutes later, he came back with a truck. He opened the door, and the guy backed up the truck and then backed up a second time and sped up, and that's when the entire door came off from the machine. The guy who was holding the door open ran in and grabbed it and ran away.
The crew has been using stolen cars during their heists, which has proved troublesome for police.
They have so many cars at their disposal and even caused an intentional accident during one escape that injured a responding officer.
A total of 19 stolen cars have been used thus far.
Police told the Post they have a few leads but wouldn't say anything more since it could alert the thieves of their progress.