Suspects smash through store to steal ATM

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Where snacks and wine racks once stood, now sits a gaping hole in the front wall of Emmie’s Corner, a convenient store and Citgo gas station on Gunn Highway in Odessa.

Store surveillance video captured two men using a stolen van to ram the front windows just before 3 a.m. Wednesday.

“My gut told me someone broke in,” said owner Marlene Singletary.

She got an alert from her home that a store alarm was going off. Before Singletary or deputies could arrive, the frustrated thieves tried to figure out how to get the machine out of the store.

After backing into the store the first time, one of the suspects tried, unsuccessfully, to lift the ATM out of the broken window. The machine was bolted to the ground.

The suspect is later seen kicking the machine and beating it with a hammer. After driving away from the store twice, the suspects came back a third time and backed into the window with enough force that the machine fell to the ground.

Two men are seen carrying the machine out of the building and loading it into a van.

“We did not expect this when we pulled up, to find out that a van actually went through our window,” said Singletary.

The ATM machine had about $15,000 inside.

Singletary said deputies contacted her later Wednesday morning to say they found the stolen van and the ATM at an abandoned building off US-19 in Palm Harbor.

“The whole top half of the ATM was gone. They had obviously taken some type of saw and cut through it,” said Singletary.

The thieves’ efforts did not pay off. The money was still inside the machine. A woman is believed to be involved in the heist, serving as a look out.

It’s unclear if any of the suspects have been arrested.

Anyone with information on the crime is asked to contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.