Two men arrested for stealing ATM from Winter Haven bank

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Two Clewiston men were behind bars Saturday morning after police said they used a backhoe to steal a bank's ATM.

Winter Haven police said Francisco Hernandez, 54, and Jesus Antonio Sanchez Sanchez, 50, were taken into custody after they stole a backhoe from a nearby construction site to tear down the structure housing the ATM. They succeeded in retrieving the ATM, but were caught a short time later as they were attempting to head back to Clewiston.

Around 11:45 Friday night, an alarm sounded at the CenterState Bank on Lucerne Park Road in Winter Haven. Winter Haven officers quickly responded to find the building that houses the ATM machine completely demolished. A short time later, a Polk County Sheriff's deputy saw a Ford F-250 near Hwy 27 and Dundee Road that looked suspicious. The deputy stopped the vehicle and saw an ATM in the bed of the truck. Police said Sanchez and Hernandez stated that they had been out getting scrap metal, but couldn't remember where they got the items in the bed of the truck.

Sanchez and Hernandez have been charged with grand theft resulting in property damage. Hernandez also had a warrant for his arrest from Hendry County for violation of probation. Sanchez was on probation for grand theft over $20,000 as well.

A bank representative said the ATM did not appear to have been opened.