BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Police confiscated the cell phone of a teenager accused of an attempted ATM theft at a convenience store near Druid Hill Park. They were able to arrest 18-year-old Said Hamza after he fled through a hole a van smashed through the wall of a convenience store on Orem Avenue Sunday morning.
There have been 29 similar smash-and-grab ATM thefts across Baltimore this year. Usually, police do not make arrests because the thieves get away so quickly.
WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren obtained charging documents that reveal police captured Hamza after a foot chase. The van used in the crime as well as the other suspects were able to get away.
One week prior, a burgundy van smashed through a convenience store half a mile away on Monroe Street near North Avenue.
"I saw the wall was out of the building and the ATM was gone," Sheldon Eubanks Bey Sr. told Hellgren. He manages the Nute's Mart store and is the owner's uncle. "It's hard when you have a black-owned business devastated like this. We really help out in this community," he said. The store has yet to reopen.
He told Hellgren he was "shocked" when a police officer drove right by the damage shortly after it happened. "You would think they would pull over and try to find out what was going on."
"We are going to do come back even stronger," Bey promised. He said an ATM will likely be placed back in the store because it draws a lot of customers.
Police have advised business owners to move the cash machines away from doors and windows.
According to charging documents, damage to the Orem Avenue store is estimated to be $10,000. The thieves did not attempt to take anything but the ATM.
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