CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Cleveland firefighters responded to a fire at a carryout in Collinwood early Wednesday morning and discovered a dump truck had been used by thieves to smash their way into the store in an effort to steal the ATM.
The couple that has owned the T and N Beverage Store on East 140th Street for the last 30 years says before the crooks fled, they set the dump truck on fire and the blaze then spread.
Co-owner Sabrina Head told FOX 8, “I guess they were mad because they couldn’t get around the back. We had really secured the back of the building so that’s why they tried to use the dump truck to go through the front there. They couldn’t get all the way in there and they just set the dump truck on fire to disguise their print.”
The owners say they installed yellow security poles, known as bollards, in front of the store after previous attempts to steal their cash machine.
They say they had a feeling thieves would eventually come back with a bigger vehicle to smash their way inside the building.
“They tried it numerous times but those poles are what’s been saving us, but this time it didn’t save us,” said Head.
Police say the dump truck was stolen early Wednesday morning from inside a warehouse in Collinwood.
Investigators says it appears the thieves rode bicycles to the entrance of the building, broke in and after starting the dump truck, used it to smash their way out through a large garage door.
They then drove to the carry out, where they attempted the smash and grab, investigators say.
The owner of the warehouse, Frank Lasky, told FOX 8, “I’m just in disbelief, that’s all. I just can’t believe somebody would go to those great lengths to do something like that.”
Meanwhile, the owners of the carry out say the damage done to their building will likely mean the end of their business after three decades, and they have some advice for the smash and grab thieves.
“Go get a job and stop destroying other people’s property,” said Head.
Police are now reviewing surveillance video from both crime scenes to see if security cameras may have captured any images of the suspects.