Someone used a piece of construction equipment to tear a gaping hole in the side of a north Edmonton store to steal an ATM early Tuesday morning.
Police were called to Sherbrooke Grocery on 121 Avenue and 127 Street, where an excavator, also known as a track hoe, was used to tear a floor-to-ceiling hole in the side of the building.
Surveillance footage from inside the store shows it happened at 2:18 a.m., when the convenience store was closed. The track hoe bucket crashed through the wall, wrapped around the top of the automated teller machine and pulled it outside through the hole in the wall.
Mijung Suh, who has owned the convenience store since January 2014, said she received a phone call from the security company early Tuesday morning. At first she thought her store was just damaged, then she realized her ATM was gone.
“My ATM machine was gone and then I realized, ‘Oh it’s a robbery,'” she said. “I was so scared.
“It’s unbelievable for me… It was tough for me.”
Police said the machinery was stolen. The excavator appears to have been taken from a nearby construction site, and logos on the side indicate it belongs to CKB Construction.
Officers said the suspect(s) fled the scene in an unidentified vehicle.
Suh opened the store as usual Tuesday morning, despite the damage. She said construction forced her to close the shop for six days last week and she didn’t want to cause further burden to her regular customers, many of whom are elderly.
“This is a very old community so for them I didn’t want to give them another hard time,” the shop owner said. “If I closed here again and they have to go far from here, it’s inconvenient.
“I’m very exhausted right now but for the people, I just wanted to open.”
Brad Thompson, who works at a renovation store across the street, said he feels awful for Suh.
“It’s tragic. She’s gone through a lot in the last few years here. She’s been robbed a couple of times in the last three years,” he said.
“It’s just horrible. I feel absolutely horrible for her… It’s very unfortunate for a small business trying to thrive in this city.”
Thompson said it’s lucky no one was injured.
“I can’t fathom it. You almost feel a little sense of security lost here because to know that somebody’s willing to do that… This could happen again and again and again.”
This is the latest in a string of ATM thefts across Alberta, which RCMP are called to investigate on a regular basis.
WATCH: An attempted ATM robbery in Lamont has left quite a trail of destruction and has police searching for suspects. And as Quinn Ohler reports, similar robberies appear to be becoming increasingly common.
Back on March 14, a stolen tractor was used in a rural Alberta credit union break and enter. Police were left searching for five suspects, after a stolen tractor from a nearby business was smashed through the front of the Servus Credit Union in Lamont.
Mounties said the suspects then used a stolen vehicle to remove the credit union’s ATM, but for reasons police couldn’t explain the bank machine was not removed from the site.
In May, a CAT 930G wheel loader was used to break through the wall of the ATB Financial in Caroline, Alta. In that case, two suspects did manage to get away with the ATM. Two central Alberta men were later arrested while attempting to break into the Mirror post office. Police said they were charged in a string of thefts.
Anyone who may have witnessed the ATM theft Tuesday morning is asked to contact the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377.