Thieves use stolen car to smash into store, steal ATM cash

smashedatm copyEscambia deputies are looking for suspects who used a stolen sport utility vehicle as a battering ram this morning to smash through the glass doors of a West Pensacola grocery store.

And those responsible for the damage were looking for something more than a midnight snack, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The unidentified suspects stole the contents of an ATM inside the Perdido Bay Market, 12255 Lillian Highway, near Bauer Road, after the SUV plowed through the store’s automatic-sliding doors about 2:30 a.m.

The suspects did not try to break into the grocery store’s office or target anything except the ATM, said Perdido Market Assistant Manager Maeghan Mueller.It was not immediately known how much money was stolen.  Mueller and Perdido Market employees spent the morning cleaning glass and debris from the crash. The store re-opened about 9:30 a.m., after the more than 2-hour cleanup delay.

The suspects’ brazen smash-and-grab shows a “total callous disregard” for people’s safety and property, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ted Roy.  “They have no care or conscience about the tens of thousands of dollars of damage to the store and the vehicle,” he said of the suspects. “It’s just ridiculous. Stupid criminals never cease to amaze me.”

The stolen vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban, was recovered on Little Creek Lane, less than a mile from the Perdido Bay Market — formerly known as Greer’s Food Tiger before a recent name change.

The vehicle had a Western Union sign from the Perdido Market still stuck in the hood, said the Sheriff’s Office report. The vehicle’s owner, Billy Jamison, 67, did not know the SUV was missing until contacted by Sheriff’s investigators about 3 a.m. Tuesday.

The battered ATM is not owned by the Perdido Bay Market. It is maintained by a third-party company. Mueller did not know the name of that company or how much replacement doors would cost.

pjn.com 

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