Thieves steal ATM in Willow

Posted: Sunday, September 09, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- After four attempts at stealing an automatic teller machine at a credit union in Willow, someone finally succeeded in stealing one from a convenience store in the community 69 road miles north of Anchorage.

One week ago, someone smashed through a glass door at Newman's Hilltop Tesoro, wrapped a rope or chain around the several-hundred-pound automatic teller machine and ripped it bolts and all out of the building, Alaska State Troopers said.

The thieves left behind a trail of broken glass and shattered Sheetrock. Gene Newman, who owns the gas station and convenience store, estimated damage at more than $16,000, including $15,000 to replace the machine. He would not say how much cash it contained.

Over the last 18 months, four unsuccessful attempts had been made on a Matanuska Valley Federal Credit Union ATM in a strip mall only a few blocks from the Tesoro.

Crooks also tried to rip out an ATM in Big Lake last year, causing extensive damage.

The thieves in the Tesoro theft used a stolen Chevy Suburban to drive off with the machine. Troopers recovered the machine and the vehicle.

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