by: Ken Lemon Updated:
GASTONIA, N.C. - Thieves in Gaston County were very determined to steal an ATM overnight.
Surveillance video clearly shows the thieves ramming United Fuels Convenience Store with a van, leaving a hole in the front of the building.
Investigators believe the men who stole the ATM have done it before. Last month, an ATM was stolen in Gaston County and two men tried to steal one in Kings Mountain.
Police said the men also used a stolen van to pull off the crime Friday. Surveillance cameras captured video of the van backing into the store and ramming the wall until it collapsed.
The two men in hoodies tried to rip the ATM out of the store with their bare hands, but it was anchored to the ground.
They next chaining the ATM to the van and ripped it out. The video shows them struggling to get into the van and drive off just before police arrived.
Customers who saw the gaping hole in the store were stunned.
"Stole the ATM machine?" said Dawn Champion. "Oh my Lord, isn't that something."
Police found the ATM about a mile away with the cash inside gone.
The convenience store is closed indefinitely.
"It's crazy really, that people don't care about other people," manager Nader Idrahim said.
Store owner Wayne Rednour is crushed.
"It's sad that they will destroy a building for a few hundred dollars," Rednour said.
He said years ago thieves drove through his front door so he put steel beams in front the store.
"You can drive a transfer truck and hit that and it wouldn't move," he said.
The thieves last night hit the wall four times before breaking through. Police said they were wearing gloves and ski masks, but one camera may have captured a good shot of their eyes.
The owner is not sure how long it will take to make repairs and reopen the store. He said his insurance may have lapsed a couple of months ago.