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Catching 'smash and grab' bandits a priority for police

Published On: Nov 08 2012 06:27:42 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 08 2012 06:28:31 PM CST

Reading police said they're trying to catch some brazen bandits, who have been crashing cars into ATMs in order to steal cash.

READING, Pa. -

Reading police said they're trying to catch some brazen bandits who have been crashing cars into ATMs in order to steal cash.

Police have several so-called "crash and grab" cases on their hands.  Now, they're trying to figure out if the cases are connected.

Police said they are thankful no one was injured in any of the violent crimes, but the potential is there, and they are very concerned.

Surveillance video from Sunday showed a truck crashing into the Valero convenience store on Centre Avenue in Reading.

"They did attack the MAC machine," said Capt. Damond Kloc, Reading Police Dept. "They were unsuccessful, but that would be the main similarity between the Valero and the previous incidents. We haven't determined that there is a connection, but we're certainly going to look in and see if there is."

In each case, Reading police are still studying the evidence to identify suspects, and they said what you see when you watch the videos could really help their case.

"Sometimes people just have to view and it clicks right in their head. 'I know who it is,'" said Kloc. "They have a gut feeling that I know someone that may be tempted to do such a thing. They need to give us a call."

Kloc said the criminals would face a laundry list of charges because of the destructive and violent nature of the crimes.

"They're using a several ton vehicle as a tool," said Kloc.

In last month's ATM crash and grab attempts, police said the vehicles used were abandoned. For the store crash and grab, no car has been found yet.

"We have our fingers crossed that somebody can help us out, helping to identify either vehicle or the person or even both even better yet," said Kloc.

Anyone with information about any of the cases can call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.