Thieves targeting ATMs, police say
Thieves have been attacking, and in some cases carting away, free-standing automated teller machines in rural Saskatchewan, RCMP say.
On Aug. 6, suspects used chains to rip out and haul away an ATM from a store in Lashburn, Sask., police reported.
Since about the begining of July businesses in eight other communities northwest of Saskatoon were also hit by ATM bandits, although police could not say if the same people were responsible.
"There have been several ATM thefts in that ...area over the past few months," RCMP Sgt. Paul Dawson told CBC News Friday. "We're gathering evidence from our identification unit, and we're looking for similarities in those offences."
The most recent incident took place early Tuesday morning in Leoville, Sask., which is about 200 kilometres northwest of Saskatoon.
Police said they responded to a break and enter at a video store around 3 a.m. CST, where the thieves had targeted an ATM in the building.
The owner of the store told CBC News Friday that she anticipated thieves might come for her ATM.
"I don't carry enough cash in the ATM in the last couple weeks to make it worth anyone's while to steal it," Leslie Laventure said. "I was pretty much banking on the 'My turn is next' kind of thing."
Police in that case were able to catch up to some suspects.
Laventure said the thieves caused considerable damage.
"They bent all my door frames," she said. "They busted open the cupboards where the cigarettes were. It's enough to make it a maddening moment."
Police said that two people, a 44-year-old man from North Battleford, Sask., and a 15-year-old male, also from North Battleford were in court Friday morning facing several charges.
A third suspect, a 19-year-old man from North Battleford, was still being sought by police.