THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Camilla police are looking for two men they say broke into a convenience store, tried to steal an ATM, and almost ran over a police officer.
Early this morning, two men were caught on tape breaking into the Camilla Flash Foods, wrapping a chain around the ATM, and trying to steal it. An off-duty police officer stopped the crime, but it's the latest in a string of brash ATM thefts recently.
In all the recent ATM burglaries two men used a pick up truck to back up to the store, burst through the glass, wrap a chain around the ATM, and drive off.
Monday morning, the men weren't lucky enough to get away with the prize, but they did manage to escape an all-day manhunt that took place on land and in the air.
In a Grady county burglary last month, another in Thomas county last week, and this morning's attempted smash and grab, machines full of thousands of dollars in cash were the targets.
Mon day afternoon at the Camilla Flash Foods convenience store, customers were greeted with shattered glass, a missing door, and frustrated employees.
"I got here at 4:30 and they had it roped off. The door was busted, a chain was around the ATM and they had busted glass everywhere," said Flash Foods Manager Lisa Harper.
At 2:40AM, two men broke through the front door of the Flash Foods,backed their truck up to the door frame,and tried to steal the ATM, but they were unsuccessful.
"One of our off-duty officers, he was coming home from a second job at 2:45 and he went by and saw a pick up truck backed up to the front door," said Inv. Vernon Nobles of the Camilla Police Department.
Camilla officer Drew Davis pulled over, called for help,and asked the man outside to put his hands on the truck.
Instead, the thief jumped in the bed of the truck, and the driver sped off, in the officer's direction.
"The officer fired shots at vehicle. A short chase took place with the officer in his personal vehicle," said Nobles.
The thieves crashed in a ditch,and sprinted into the woods,without a trace. "We had GSP helicopters, deputies, officers," said Nobles.
A diligent manhunt for thieves that investigators believe are not only responsible for this morning's crime,
But three others in Tallahassee, one in Ochlocknee, and another in Cairo, all in the past month. The get-a-way truck used Monday was stolen from Tallahassee.
Investigators in Mitchell, Grady, and Thomas Counties and Leon County, Florida are working together to solve the burglaries.