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Posted: August 4, 2010 7:13 p.m.

Police search for suspects in ATM heist

Forklift and truck also reportedly stolen to perform heist

Courtesy of the Covington Police Department/

Detectives from the Covington Police Department are asking for tips from the public to catch the thieves responsible for stealing an ATM machine from United Community Bank early Sunday morning.

According to CPD Lt. Paul Dailey, an officer responded to a burglary alarm on the ATM at the bank, which is located on the Covington ByPass Road. When he arrived, he immediately noticed a large blue forklift sitting in front of where the ATM would be. There was glass scattered around the area and the forklift was still turned on. The cameras were spray painted and the ATM machine was missing.

Surveillance video shows one person with his face covered by a bandana, spray painting the outside cameras at 1:12 a.m. and the robbery took place around 4:31 a.m. Video from another camera at the bank shows a red Dodge pickup truck with a silver stripe on the side, along with the forklift, pulling into the bank.

It is believed that the thieves used the forklift to pull the machine — which is bolted to the concrete — up and place it in the bed of the truck. They then fled the area in an unknown direction.

Because Eastside High School was holding late-night football camps at that time, detectives are hoping that extra people in the area at that time may provide them with more information about the suspects, who made off with an undisclosed amount of money.

The forklift that was used was also stolen from a construction site at Peachtree Academy, where the old 84 Lumber was once located. Additionally, Monday morning deputies from the Newton County Sheriff’s Office were called to C&B Auto Sales on U.S. Highway 278 where employees reported that a 1997 red Dodge extended-cab 4x4 truck had been stolen. It is possible this is the truck used in the ATM heist.

According to Dailey there has not been a theft like this in Covington in recent years, though Conyers and DeKalb County near The Mall at Stonecrest did have similar incidents in 2006.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Steve Fowler at (770) 385-2146 or to leave tips online at www.covingtonpolice.com. All tips can be given anonymously.

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