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Thieves rip out ATM’s from stores in Jefferson County

JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KPLR) – The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating two cases of ‘Rip and Runs’ in the county.  The term refers to thieves literally ripping ATM’s off their foundations by a vehicle.

The cases that occurred in Jefferson County happened less than 90 minutes apart.  Surveillance cameras caught one of the crimes, and investigator say the video quality is poor but was good enough to get a description of the vehicle.

Investigators say the suspects loaded the ATM into this silver Toyota Yaris; that ATM had been bolted to the floor just inside the VP Get n Go store near Highway 67 and Flucom Road outside of De Soto. Workers had to replace the doors, which police say were shattered when the suspects broke in just after 3 am Wednesday morning.  Surveillance video shows them using a strap hooked to their car to tear out the ATM.

Captain Higganbotham with the sheriff’s department said, “Some sort of tow strap. They actually forced the door with a pry bar.  The ATM was right inside the door.  They just put the straps around it and pulled it right out the door.  They were in and out in about 30 seconds.”

The second ATM was stolen from Franco`s Smoke Shop in Village Plaza just south of Arnold.  That theft happened just before 2 am, about 25 miles north of the crime scene near De Soto.

Both businesses were closed for the night at the times of the crimes.

Authorities believe there are only 2 suspects.  Workers say they appear to be men but were wearing masks.

Investigators say the car was last seen heading south on 67 toward St. Francois County.

If you have any information on thefts, please call the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department.