Police: Same burglary crew steals ATMs from dozens of businesses in Queens in Brooklyn over the past few months
NEW YORK - Police are searching for a group of thieves who stole dozens of ATMs from businesses in Queens and Brooklyn over the last few months.
CBS2's Natalie Duddridge spoke to staff who say tens of thousands of dollars cash was taken.
Surveillance video shows a man dressed in black pull an ATM off the wall and drag it through a deli on Fulton Street in East New York. The suspect pushes it over to a broken window, where an accomplice is waiting and the pair appear to try to figure out how to get the machine out of the store.
"I don't know how they did that, though I'm trying to figure it out," one person said.
Police are, too. They're looking for a group of five professional burglars who hit 42 businesses across Queens and Brooklyn over the last six months, not just robbing stores, but stealing entire ATMs.
"They broke in the door, the glass, they knocked it down," said Akim Abdel of the Country House diner. The diner, at Fulton Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, was hit on May 12th at 2 a.m. The thieves ripped the ATM off the wall.
"Grab the machine, couldn't make it out with it. Too heavy. That was the fifth time we've been burglarized this year," Abdel said.
That same night, two hours later, security video shows two men smash the door at Wholesome Farms market across the street.
"They came in from outside, they break the door. They tried to get some money inside, and then they couldn't," one worker said.
Since December, the suspects have hit smoke shops, delis, nail salons, barbershops, grocery stores and donut shops. All of the thefts have happened overnight, when shops are closed.
"After they close, they break the window and they do that," one person said.
Police say in total they made off with more than $60,000 in cash. No one was hurt in any of the incidents.
"So far, police, they don't do nothing," one person said.
Investigators are asking the public for tips, hoping to prevent a 43rd robbery.
In two incidents, the suspects stole cars - on April 1, from Union Street near Albany Avenue, and on April 11, from Caton Avenue.
Anyone with any information is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477), or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782). You can also submit a tip via their website or via DM on Twitter, @NYPDTips. All calls are kept confidential.
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