ATM stolen in smash-and-grab burglary at northeast Harris County convenience store
HOUSTON (KTRK) -- Cleanup is underway at a northeast Harris County convenience store after another smash-and-grab burglary.
Witnesses tell us a vehicle was used to crash into the front of the Sunny Food Mart on Wallisville near Woodbend.
The crooks did extensive damage. The storefront is in pieces, and employees were working all morning to pick up the debris.
Inside the store, merchandise was strewn everywhere. "I don't know how we're going to get this cleaned up, but we're progressing. We're getting it little by little," said the store manage, who asked not to be identified.
Surveillance video, which you'll only see on ABC13, shows a red pickup plow through the front of the store. The driver waits a few seconds, then back out. A few moments later, the truck barrels back into the building.
Fast-forward a few minutes on the video and you can see two suspects -- they appear to be men -- carrying the ATM to the pickup. They struggled with the weight of the machine, but eventually got it into the bed of the truck and fled.
"It's really frustrating. It's really a headache," said the store manger.
The store's manager thought he did everything right to protect his ATM, keeping it in the back of the store and encased in the wall. Even that, though, didn't deter the crooks.
"Even if it was in a different spot, if they wanted it, they would have gotten it," the manager said.
He's not alone in his frustration. Just this week, police saw five similar smash and grab attempts in as many days. All of the suspects appeared to be targeting the stores' ATMs, but in only two of the incidents did they succeed.
Unfortunately for employees of the Sunny Food Mart, theirs was one of them.
"I don't know what else to do. I really don't," the manager said. "We have insurance, but that's not the problem. The problem is all the headache we're building up, little by little."
Both suspects appear to be wearing black jackets. One had on a red or orange scarf and black cap. The other was wearing a red cap.
Employees tell us the store's owner hasn't showed up yet to assess the destruction. They say the store does have insurance, and they are hoping that covers the damage.
Right now, police and sheriff's deputies aren't sure if any of the crimes are related. In at least two of the incidents, the suspects left a vehicle behind at the scene.
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