SAN DIEGO – Police are looking for thieves who tried to steal an ATM from a small, family run Escondido taco shop early Thursday morning.
At around 2:45 a.m., Escondido police responded to a burglary alarm at Chito’s Taco Shop at 3440 Del Lago Blvd. to find the front door had been ripped from the front of the business and several windows had been shattered. An ATM was lying on the floor, surrounded by broken glass.
The suspects tethered some sort of chain to the ATM and tried to rip it out of the shop using a truck, but were unsuccessful.
The shop has surveillance cameras which investigators hope will help identify the suspects. Due to the damage, Chito’s is not expected to operate under its normal business hours today.
There have been such smash-and-grab attempts to steal ATMs throughout San Diego County over the past several months.
On Nov. 8, an ATM was stolen from a Chase Bank in Tierrasanta. Police later found the ATM on an abandoned flatbed truck and arrested one man.
On Oct. 6, two ATMs were ripped from two separate Otay Mesa businesses. One was torn out of a CVS Pharmacy and another from a nearby check cashing store.
On Sept. 21, an ATM was stolen out of a Carmel Valley Rite Aid. On Aug. 31, thieves ripped an ATM from Poway Rite Aid.
On June 3, thieves made a failed attempt to drag an ATM machine out of a CVS Pharmacy in Rancho Penasquitos. Deputies later found the suspects’ truck abandoned on a freeway onramp.
On June 11, thieves tried to pull the same crime at a CVS in Poway, but also failed.
On June 16, thieves tried to tear an ATM out of a Walgreens in Santee. That failed as well. The suspects left behind a metal chain that was tied around the ATM machine. The thieves had tethered the chain to the truck to try and drag the ATM out.