LA MESA, Calif. - Police and federal agents Wednesday arrested three San Diego men who allegedly yanked an ATM off its moorings outside an East County bank, loaded it onto a flatbed tow truck and made a failed attempt to flee with the machine.
The men were taken into custody about 2:30 a.m. near the Grossmont Center Drive Chase Bank branch office where the theft occurred a short time earlier, according to the FBI.
The arrestees were booked into the Metropolitan Correction Center in downtown San Diego.
Federal investigators were looking into whether the trio might be linked to any other ATM thefts in the area, FBI public-affairs Special Agent Darrell Foxworth said.
"We receive information from law enforcement sources and non-law enforcement sources which help us to determine patterns and information to help us identity individuals in these type of crimes," Foxworth said.
The tow truck involved in the crime was stolen from National City. Jose Reyes, who has owned the truck since 2006, says police woke him up to tell him what happened.
"I was thinking about how they did this," Reyes said. "I thought it was a dream... how can you steal a big tow truck? I was in shock."
The names of the men involved in the crime have not yet been released.