An Encinitas gas station employee arrived to work Sunday morning to find the front door smashed in and the ATM gone, according to sheriff’s officials.
The theft was reported at 6:15 a.m. at the Chevron station at 350 Encinitas Blvd.
Investigators say the burglars cut the power to the building outside and got in by breaking the front glass door.
The ATM was not bolted down, so they were able to carry it away.
This successful theft was just a few hours after an unsuccessful one down the street.
At 3:30 a.m. Sunday, sheriff’s deputies were called to the Walgreens at 1320 Encinitas Blvd. for an attempted ATM robbery.
They said the store’s front glass door was smashed in, just like the gas station’s, but the would-be thieves could not take the ATM.
Deputies said the crimes were most likely committed by the same suspects.
According to Sheriff's Lt. Dave Schaller, these sort of crimes happen more often than you'd think.
"Particularly in businesses where they have the smaller ATM machines. Very oftentimes, busiensses don't bolt them to the ground," said Schaller. "They're very small and very easy to manipulate."
In many cases, Schaller said thieves will break the front doors, tie a rope the ATM and use a vehicle to pull it out. It may only take a couple of minutes.