Las Vegas Sun

October 22, 2014

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Theft caught on tape

A robber trying to break into an automated teller machine last week didn't smile for the camera, but he did put on a show.

The man rocked an ATM machine back and forth at the Callaway Golf Center, 6730 Las Vegas Blvd. South, about 1:45 a.m. last Thursday before he spotted a surveillance camera.

The camera tracked the man backing away from the machine. Then about 15 seconds later the man returned to the camera's view, this time with the hood of his jacket pulled over his head.

"This guy was not a rocket scientist," Metro Police Detective Alan Hepp of the property crimes unit said.

The man on the security tape was working with another man, not seen on the video, police said. One man was able to wrench the free-standing ATM machine off the bolts holding it to the floor and was then seen dragging the machine away.

"Apparently they didn't know about the video camera right away," Hepp said.

While ATMs are stolen every so often, it's not a common occurrence, Hepp said. There was a rash of ATM machine thefts a few years ago, but people were arrested in those thefts, he said.

The problem with ATM machines is that they are difficult to crack open. Police suspect that last week's burglars still haven't gotten to the cash inside the machine.

"Normally we find the machines a couple days later after the cash was taken," Hepp said. "They don't want to hold on to it, so they dump it somewhere."

But the stolen ATM from Callaway Golf Center hasn't turned up yet.

"They may not have known how difficult it is to open it," Hepp said. "They may still be trying to get it open. Like I said, they weren't rocket scientists."

Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Metro's property crime unit at 229-3573 or Secret Witness at 385-5555.

Keith Paul covers crime and public safety for the Sun. He can be reached at (702) 259-4057 or by e-mail at [email protected]

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