Thieves foiled in theft of Eagle River ATM

Posted: Friday, May 10, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Thieves tried and failed Thursday for the second time this year to steal an automatic teller machine at the Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union in Eagle River.

Two male burglars pried open the bottom of the cash machine in the entryway of the credit union. They cut the bolts attaching the freestanding machine to the floor and dragged it outside.

An alarm went off at 4:18 a.m. and Anchorage police officers responded to the credit union in three minutes, police said.

''The burglars apparently heard the sirens of the approaching patrol car,'' according to a police press release. ''They were dragging the ATM up a slight embankment to a waiting car but abandoned the machine and fled the area.''

The FBI is investigating the attempted theft, the fourth in Alaska reported to the bureau this year, said special agent Eric Gonzalez.

Last week thieves in Willow ripped the ATM from the wall of the credit union's branch there, causing substantial damage to the entryway. The machine, cash still inside, was found abandoned about half a mile away in a stolen pickup.

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