Thieves targeting ATMs

The number of ATMs stolen in Central Alberta is now an even dozen over the last three months, with Caroline the latest community to be targeted by thieves.

The number of ATMs stolen in Central Alberta is now an even dozen over the last three months, with Caroline the latest community to be targeted by thieves.

A break and enter to the Burger Baron restaurant in Caroline was reported around 2 a.m. on Aug. 17, with a truck being used to pull the ATM completely through the front of the restaurant, causing massive damage. Witnesses got a description of the suspect vehicle — a dark-coloured 1998 GMC Sierra pickup truck — as it fled.

Although Caroline is within Rocky Mountain House RCMP jurisdiction, Innisfail RCMP were contacted regarding the suspect vehicle, which left Caroline heading east on Hwy 54. A nearby Innisfail officer travelling towards Caroline observed the vehicle on Hwy 54, and when the officer turned his vehicle around to engage the suspects, the vehicle sped off at 140 km/h, understood to be the vehicle’s maximum speed.

The two male suspects in the vehicle followed Hwy 54 until reaching its intersection with Hwy 781, at which point the suspects headed north towards Sylvan Lake. A spike belt was deployed on the highway and the suspect vehicle ran over it, flattening its tires, but the pursuit continued all the way into Sylvan Lake.

The two suspects then abandoned the vehicle and Mounties engaged in a foot patrol with the canine unit utilized. RCMP, however, were unable to locate either suspect.

The vehicle, which had been reported stolen, was seized but the stolen ATM was not recovered.

Since June 4, ATM thefts have been reported from Spruce View, Blackfalds, Rimbey, Stettler, Bashaw, Lacombe and now Caroline. There have also been four reported thefts from Red Deer.

Earlier this month, Red Deer RCMP issued a release regarding two of the thefts, which occurred at the Sunnybrook Grocery and iHotel on Aug. 4 and Aug. 9, respectively. In both cases, two males fled the scene in a white truck.

The males were described as wearing black hoodies and being between 20 and 40 years of age.

Cpl. Jeff Hildebrandt of the Innisfail RCMP said in the Caroline case, no suspects were clearly identified.

“Typically these guys target these smaller places in the hopes that either they have a less sophisticated or no video surveillance system entirely,” he said.

Hildebrandt said the spate of thefts suggests the crimes are related.

“We’re taking the perspective that it’s one group that is repeatedly attacking these ATMs. They’re targeting fairly isolated communities in Central Alberta, and then they’re physically removing the ATMs in the break and enters and then taking off.

“There are gross physical tools used to manipulate the device and remove it from the premises physically. Trucks have been used and a lot of damage has been reported with the removal,” he added.

Police do not know how much money the thieves have made off with. Some of the stolen machines have been empty and others have had small amounts of cash inside.

Anyone with information on any of the thefts can contact their local RCMP detachment or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Just Posted

Contentious cannabis production facility clears another planning hurdle

190,000-square-foot facility to be built in Blindman Industrial Park

Downtown Red Deer businesses concerned non-profit will move into prominent Ross Street space

Concern builds over John Howard Society converting a retail bay into office space

Red Deer County allows more urban hens

Five urban hen permits now allowed in hamlets, up from two

Red Deer high schools considering fines to stem ‘epidemic’ of student vaping

They are considering applying city no-smoking bylaw on school grounds

High Level and central Alberta fire serve as reminder to Red Deerians to be prepared

Central Alberta hamlet of Marlboro was on evacuation alert over the weekend

Dogs and drugs don’t mix: Red Deer business wants to leave downtown after 18 years

One business owner is done with downtown Red Deer after 18 years.… Continue reading

Cast your votes for the Best of Red Deer

Nominations for the Best of Red Deer Readers’ Choice Awards are officially… Continue reading

Lowry scores 25 as Raptors even up series against Bucks with 120-102 win

Raptors 120, Bucks 102 (Best-of-seven series tied 2-2) TORONTO — Kyle Lowry… Continue reading

Hiker and his dog lived off the land while lost in Alaska

FAIRBANKS, Alaska — A hiker and his dog ate berries and moss… Continue reading

“Fun Guy” Kawhi the latest example of NBA branding

TORONTO — Kawhi Leonard’s likeness looks down from some 10 storeys high… Continue reading

Tarantino is back in Cannes, 25 years after ‘Pulp Fiction’

CANNES, France — Twenty-five years after premiering “Pulp Fiction” in Cannes, Quentin… Continue reading

Gordon Lightfoot on starring in a ‘legacy’ documentary about himself

TORONTO — Gordon Lightfoot didn’t need much convincing when filmmakers approached him… Continue reading

Burger King to expand sales of new meatless burger to Europe

COPENHAGEN — Burger King will launch in Sweden a version of its… Continue reading

Most Read