Are ATM smash-and-grabs becoming more common? For the second time this month, someone used a vehicle to smash through a building in Hammond and loot its automated teller machine.
Tangipahoa Parish sheriff's officials say a blue minivan came crashing through the front door a of a Hammond convenience store on Pumpkin Center Lane. The occupants jumped out, broke open the automated teller, then grabbed the cash.
"The suspects' stole a vehicle and drove up to a convenience store...and backed the vehicle into the front of the store," spokeswoman Dawn Panepinto said.
Panepinto said these thieves had clearly prepared for the crime, and were well aware that they would get caught on video.
"The suspects inside of the vehicle were completely covered," she said. "They had dark sweatsuits on, they had masks covering their face and they had gloves."
A couple of weeks ago, someone used a stolen car to crash into the Office of Motor Vehicles in Hammond at take the whole machine. Unlike the OMV smash-and-grab, the thieves this time didn't take off with the whole machine.
"This time, they just, I guess, somewhat plowed it over and the machine came apart," Panepinto said, allowing the crooks to just grab the cash and run.