The Village Mart in Madison Park was struck earlier this month by burglars who used a van to smash open the doors of the convenience store and make off with an ATM that doubled as a safe.
Seattle Police are investigating two similar cases involving ATMs being targeted in late November, both also involving suspects driving a large white van.
Officers responded to an alarm at the convenience store around 5:15 a.m. Friday, Dec. 2, where they found the front doors forced open — one completely removed — and soon discovered an ATM had been stolen, according to a police report.
Dispatch reported about 10 minutes later that the ATM was found in an alley near the 2800 block of Harvard Avenue East.
The storeowner called police back to the scene two hours later, where officers reviewed security video.
Two men were seen backing up a white van to the store’s front doors. After attempting to pry the doors open, the suspect used a chain to try to pull the doors open. This simply pulled the handle off the door. The suspects eventually rammed the doors open with the van. The suspects entered the store and pushed over the ATM, sliding the machine across the floor to the front doors before loading it inside the van, according to the report.
The store owner told police he was using the ATM as a safe, and there was $10,000 of store money inside and $3,000 for customers.
A store manager confirmed to the Capitol Hill Times it could take up to two weeks still to get a new door.
A convenience store in the 2200 block of Eastlake Avenue East was targeted by burglars on Saturday, Nov. 26. Officers responded around 4:30 a.m. to a report of an open door and active alarm, finding the ATM sign lying in the parking lot.
The police report states security footage shows a white 1995 Ford Club Wagon van pull up to the store. One man exited the back and drilled out the store’s lock, entering the business and tying a chain around the ATM, which was pulled out by the van. The driver then helped the other man load the ATM into the van, according to the police report.
The passenger is described in the report as white, around 30 years old, wearing a gray Nike sweatshirt with the hood over his head and a mask, jeans and white tennis shoes. The driver is described as a whit man around 30 years old, with short, light brown hair. He was wearing blue coveralls, bright orange shoes and a blue bandana around the bottom of his face.
The store owner told police replacing the ATM would cost around $5,000, also estimating the money inside the stolen machine at $5,000, according to the report. Fixing the door would be another $5,000, he said.
The second report came on Monday, Nov. 28, when a restaurant employee in the 12300 block of 30th Avenue Northeast called 911 around 5 a.m. to report seeing a man in a van attempting to steal a business’ ATM. That suspect was described as a 35-year-old white man wearing a baseball cap and blue flannel shirt.
According to the witness, the man had attached a chain to the ATM, but it broke when he drove away.