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Police searching for suspects after smash and grab robbery in Essex

By David Collins & Blair Young

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    ESSEX, Maryland (WBAL) — Baltimore County police said they are searching for five suspects who crashed into a gas station in an attempt to steal an ATM.

Surveillance video shows the suspects using a stolen Kia Soul as a battering ram, backing through a gas station wall two times.

Video shows the suspects attempting to move the ATM but failing. Investigators said they settled for the cash register. Detective Trae Corbin said they took the whole thing and not just the money inside.

“Some establishments actually bolt their ATMs to the ground. Some wrap them up in chains. Some have barriers put around them to prevent these thefts. But we ask again, please don’t unnecessarily put them in the front of the store where they’re easily able to be stolen,” Corbin said.

Store customers are disappointed.

“I mean, it looks pretty bad. They took out the whole glass window. It’s just boarded up now,” said Nick Hawkins.

Police said the smash and grab happened around 1:46 a.m. Wednesday. No one was hurt, even though two employees were in the store at the time.

“It’s crazy out here. It’s a hard enough life. I don’t know, as long as people didn’t get hurt,” said customer Raven Hawkins.

Police said the thieves fled in another vehicle which was recovered on Pulaski Highway. It was also a stolen Kia.

Corbin reminded the public that Kias and Hyundais with key ignitions are prone to theft.

“If your vehicle is not a push start and actually has a key to turn, it is more susceptible to thefts which is why it is imperative that they go to their local dealerships to get that rectified,” he said.

Young customers at the gas station have a message for the thieves.

“Why? Like, you should just work for your money instead of trying to steal, because it’s easier to work for your money instead of stealing it,” said Angel Tipton.

Employees said they are trained to run to the back of the store in these cases of active robbery attempts.

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