ABINGDON, Md. — ATM thefts and attempted thefts have become an increased trend throughout the Baltimore Metro area. On Tuesday morning another attempt was made this time in Harford County.
It happened around 4am near Emmorton and Abingdon Road, when someone rammed a work van through the front of a Walgreens in an effort to steal an ATM.
Two hours later, Sheriffs deputies found the van abandoned nearby. Turns out the vehicle was had been stolen out of Baltimore City.
The crooks tried to lift the ATM for about a minute, but it was too heavy so they left.
Chief Deputy William Davis had a message for anyone else who thinks of trying to commit a smash and grab again in Harford County.
“One thing I can tell you is I don’t want to speak for other jurisdictions but here in Harford County when we apprehend these suspects our states attorney up here will certainly be prosecuting these people to the fullest to make sure they don’t do this here in our county,” Davis said.
Amy Blank who’s a private ATM owner said these type of crimes not only hurt the retailer, but the consequences have a ripple effect.
“So not only are there less and less ATMs around because of the theft but people can’t access cash when they need to we’re in the middle of the holiday season these families can’t get access to cash,” Blank said.
And every time this happens retailers are faced with the headache of cleaning up the damage and potentially paying higher insurance premiums.
“Correct they go up for both the ATM owner operators and more importantly the retail establishments. And we never recoup the full amount lost, you not only lose the ATM you lose the money inside and other ramifications of the incident in of itself. Recouping the loss is not equitable,” Blank said.
Blank said if someone steals an ATM from a bank it’s a federal crime, but if they steal it from a private owned ATM it’s not the same penalty.
“Not at all so we’re seeking legislation to make a bank robbery and an ATM theft carry the same penalties and allow federal state and local enforcement agencies to collaborate with one another to investigate and prosecute these crimes,” Blank said.
However deputies said there’s still a lengthy list of charges someone could face if and when they are caught stealing an ATM or attempting to.
“It would be a burglary, it would be a theft felony theft depending on the amount of cash that was inside the ATM, you would also have destruction of property, vehicle accidents,” Davis said.