Believe it, ATM thieves strike again - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Believe it, ATM thieves strike again

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

CAIRO,  GA (WALB) - It's hard to believe, but bold ATM thieves struck again early Tuesday morning. This time, at a Cairo convenience store. It's the second ATM theft in less than a week in our area and the fifth one since June.

It's pretty apparent the people doing this aren't going to stop until they are caught. The problem is they've gotten so comfortable with the crime, the men in Tuesday morning's smash-and-grab were able to get away with a machine full of cash in nearly one minute flat.

At 2:12 am an all-too familiar sight flashed across the surveillance camera lens.

"It only lasted like a minute and eight seconds," said Loss Prevention Supervisor for Quick Buys convenience stores, Ronnie Searcy.

The Quick Buys on Hwy 84 joins the list of four other south georgia gas stations, all victims of those skillful ATM bandits.

"The ATM was here, it was bolted down," he said.

Now police are making connections. They believe the truck used in Tuesday morning's burglary is the same one used on Friday in Thomasville. A truck reported stolen from a Thomasville car dealership.

And it seems as though the thieves are getting bold. Not only is the Quick Buys here in Cairo located on a busy highway at a four-way intersection, it's across the street from a hotel.

"The other locations have been in more isolated areas not as heavily populated," said Investigator Wandell Asbell, Cairo Police Department.

Store owners are hopeful the new bravery will eventually lead to their arrest.

"I think they like the notoriety now. They're getting bold, I think they'll over step their bounds," said Searcy.

But police aren't waiting around for that to happen.

"The biggest thing we're doing is beefing up patrols of course, adding security," said Asbell.

Police continue encouraging convenience stores to take matters into their own hands, by moving ATMs away from front windows and making sure security cameras and alarm systems work properly.

Police believe the same men that destroyed the Thomas county convenience store on Friday are responsible for this mornings burglary. But that's not to say the same two men are involved in ALL the ATM thefts. They say it's likely it's a group of people from somewhere in the south georgia, north florida area.

Every ATM theft we've covered has involved stores that keep their ATMs at the front of the store, so again, it's probably smart to move them to the back of the store, anywhere that makes it difficult for thieves to take.

We even spoke with people at one store today that are considering removing their ATM for now.


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