String of bank-machine thefts includes Stettler, Alix garages

Last Tuesday, at 5:23 a.m., Stettler RCMP responded to a 911 call reporting a break, enter and theft from the Stettler Esso

  • Jul. 31, 2013 5:00 p.m.
Stettler RCMP are investigating the theft of an ATM machine from the Esso service station last Tuesday.

Stettler RCMP are investigating the theft of an ATM machine from the Esso service station last Tuesday.

SGT. DUNCAN BABCHUK

Stettler RCMP detachment

Last Tuesday, at 5:23 a.m., Stettler RCMP responded to a 911 call reporting a break, enter and theft from the Stettler Esso on 50 Avenue.

At the service station, the large front window had been smashed, there were a number of food and clothing racks knocked over and the spot where the ATM was previously located had four bolts remaining in the floor.

Local video surveillance showed that a pickup truck drove to the front of the store. A male wearing a ball cap, dark hood and gloves exited from the driver’s door, went to the back of the truck, opened the tailgate and pulled out a tow strap.

Someone appearing to be a female exited the passenger- side door and then stood near the gas pumps. The truck then pulled forward and backed up to the window.

The male then smashed the window with what might be a hand cart, then placed the cart in the back of the truck. The female then entered the store through the window with the strap, placed it over the ATM and then exited the store. The truck pulled forward, pulling the ATM toward the window, where the strap came off of the ATM.

The female and male entered the store again and the male carried the ATM and placed it in the back of the truck. The truck then departed west from the station.

The truck appeared to be a Chevrolet diesel, as the truck had a distinctive rumble when idling.

There was a large amount of cash in the ATM at the time of the theft. It was found by a County of Stettler grader operator on Friday at 3 p.m. on Range Road 212, two miles west of Erskine.

It was one of three ATM thefts in the central Alberta area that occurred within 48 hours of each other.

Last Tuesday, along with the Stettler theft, an ATM was stolen from the Spruce View Esso. Last Wednesday, an ATM was stolen from the UFA at Alix.

All thefts appear to be related.

The RCMP asks the public for assistance in solving the crimes by calling the local detachment at 403-742-3381 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).