Police are searching for a group of five burglars who have stolen ATMs from at least 42 businesses across Brooklyn and Queens over the last six months -- an apparently sophisticated team that is taking not just cash but entire machines in the heists.
Each of the thefts, which started in December, have occurred in the evening or overnight, while the businesses — ranging from donut shops to laundromats — have been closed.
Video provided by the NYPD from a previous burglary on Fulton Street shows one of the thieves pulling the ATM from the wall, then rolling it to an aisle with a broken window. The man and an accomplice on the outside can be seen on video seemingly trying to figure out how to get the cash machine out of the store.
Video from the East New York Deli on Elton Street from early June showed two burglars using a tool to break the lock on a metal gate, while a third person stands watch. When they are done, they raise the gate and smash open a window to climb inside the shop.
One store clerk believes that the suspects must have scoped out his store beforehand.
"The crazy thing, they definitely been here cause they only broke the particular spot where the ATM was. They didn’t break nowhere else, just that," he said. "Unfortunately they seem to know what they’re doing, because 42? That’s not luck anymore."
Police said they are investigating, but have not yet drawn a connection to ATM thefts previously spotlighted by NBC New York in April. Those crooks also hit businesses in Brooklyn and Queens, wheeling entire machines from stores.
The sheer number of ATMs taken in the latest theft pattern — as well as the $60,000 stolen — has local businesses urging police to catch the group quickly.
No arrests have yet been made. An investigation is ongoing.