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CBS2 Exclusive Video: Botched ATM Theft Caught On Camera

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- What began as the attempted theft of an entire ATM quickly became a real drag in Laurelton, Queens.

As CBS2's Sonia Rincon reported, a botched attempt at a massive money grab overnight Wednesday into Thursday landed a suspect behind bars.

In video you will only see on CBS2 News, a Honda Odyssey is seen pulling up to the ATM outside J&S Pizza, at 244-35 Merrick Blvd., and the suspected thieves get to work with the headlights on. The three suspects attach the ATM to the car.

But then comes something they didn't plan for – a police squad car on patrol goes by on Merrick Boulevard. One of the suspects sees that, and he bails, climbing right over the wall.

The police car makes a U-turn and comes back. And then comes the uh-oh moment -- the suspects realize they have been spotted. The second suspect goes over the wall, and the driver takes off, dragging the ATM.

The sparks are visible in the video as the ATM scrapes the ground, and the police officers are close behind.

Police arrested Dwayne Williams, 42, of Hempstead about a mile away from the scene. Sources told CBS2 he has a long rap sheet.

Police brought Williams back to the 105th Precinct, and were back in the morning to get the $3,000 from the ATM -- which did not make it past the parking lot.

Queens ATM Theft Attempt
Police haul away an ATM that was ripped away from a pizza shop in Laurelton, Queens. (Credit: CBS2)

By the afternoon, police had hauled the ATM away.

At the scene late Thursday, it was easy to spot the empty space where the ATM had been. A sign was also mounted at the scene indicating that surveillance cameras are rolling.

There are also cameras at the pizza shop, but they weren't recording. Fortunately, other cameras in the neighborhood were.

J&S Pizza owner Joseph Piazza said his cameras will be recording now, and he is glad some alert officers on patrol made the arrest.

"Everybody kept saying that, you know, there was a lot of ATM robberies, so I guess we were just pretty lucky," Piazza said.

Other businesses in the neighborhood said they're keeping an eye out, and look forward to more arrests.

"It's a shame that they have to resort to robbing ATMs," Piazza said.

Police do not believe this case is related to other recent ATM robberies. But for now, Williams is charged with grand larceny, reckless endangerment and possession of stolen property, and has been cited with unlicensed driving.

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