HOUSTON — Police said a group of suspects smashed into a northeast Houston food store early Monday morning to steal an ATM machine, but they left empty-handed after rolling their getaway vehicle.
The smash-and-grab happened on Maxey Road at Woodforest Boulevard around 3:30 a.m., according to Houston police.
A clerk was inside the Shell store when security cameras caught a pickup truck smashing through the front doors.
“I saw the truck banging back and forth...,” clerk Banomar Neik said.
The suspects, all dressed in black, hit the building twice to get inside. They then dragged the ATM out of the store and into the back of the pickup.
“I’m completely shocked,” Neik said. “At that time I couldn’t think what to do – it’s so fast.”
A Houston Police Department sergeant saw the suspects as they left the scene. He attempted to pull them over, but they took a fast turn and rolled their pickup in a home’s front yard.
“He was in the right place at the right time,” HPD Police Lt. Larry Crowson said.
The suspects then managed to get out and evade police on foot, leaving the ATM behind.
The truck crashed into Reggie Booker’s yard.
“I didn’t hear nobody running or nothing. I thought it was thunder at first. It was like ‘boom’ and that was really about it,” Booker said. “Then we came outside and we seen the K9 unit and we seen the cops telling everybody to go back in the house cause they trying to track somebody right now.”
A worker in the store was unharmed, but he said he was startled because the crime happened so fast.
HPD called in K-9 units, but the suspects weren’t immediately located.
Back at the store, workers were left to deal with about $30,000 in damage to deal with.