Local News

Thieves use excavator from construction site to steal from Wells Fargo ATM

Posted July 23, 2021 12:32 p.m. EDT
Updated July 23, 2021 6:53 p.m. EDT

— A third ATM theft happened in the Triangle this week, and police say that thieves used an excavator from a nearby construction site to crack the ATM open.

Security cameras shows that a Wells Fargo ATM on Park Drive, near N.C. Highway 54, in the Research Triangle Park, was hit by an excavator on Thursday.

Crews told WRAL News they found cash on the construction site on Friday.

“We were coming up the path ... there was money everywhere and they told us to go back," said Tyler Livengood, who works at the job site.

Stolen truck, ATM

The same Wells Fargo bank on Park Drive was targeted by thieves three weeks ago, officials said.

Deputies say the video of the excavator shows none of the people involved in the crime.

The Caterpillar construction vehicle can be unlocked using a universal key, police said. If someone has a key to one Caterpillar vehicle, they are able to unlock all others.

Last weekend, two additional ATM thefts were reported, both targeting Coastal Federal Credit Union. A third machine on Page Road in Durham was hit back in June, according to Coastal Federal Credit Union spokesperson Joe Mecca.

The method used to break open these ATMs appears to be the same: Thieves are using stolen vehicles and driving them into the ATMs, officials said.

Mecca says that he's heard of similar crimes happening in South Carolina and Texas.

“The thing we know is common so far is that it is happening in this market and other states as well, and the commonality seems to be they are using stolen trucks," he said.

There are cameras surrounding the banks and also on the ATMs. The bank's video has been turned over to officials, but so far, no arrests have been made.

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