News story

Forklifts hot-wired for ATM heists

Thursday, 8 July 2004 ( #165 ) - SUWANEE, GA, United States
Daring thieves have been stealing forklifts and other heavy machinery and using them to rip automatic teller machines (ATMs) out of bank walls, police reported.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said thieves had hot-wired forklifts, earthmovers and bulldozers at construction sites.
In most cases, the stolen ATMs were loaded onto trucks - also stolen - and found empty days later, said Suwanee police captain Clyde Byers.
He said he believed the culprits were most likely construction workers putting their machinery skills to work.
Barry Schreiber, a criminal justice professor at Minnesota's St Cloud State University, said ATM thefts using heavy machinery were rare, with about 75 cases reported across the US each year.
"It's not a big number but it makes a big splash in the face of 20,000-plus ATMs around the country," he said.
The thefts began on June 18 when a stolen bulldozer was used to pluck an ATM off its base in Suwanee. In a second incident on June 24, a forklift was used to knock down an ATM in nearby Conyers.
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