by: Liz Artz Updated:
MORROW, Ga. - Tens of thousands of dollars were stolen after two thieves took a Clayton County ATM from the parking lot of a bank.
Morrow police detectives told Channel 2’s Liz Artz the men first stole a forklift from Tara Elementary School. The forklift was being used for summer construction on the school.
Police think one of the men drove the forklift less than a half mile to the Fidelity Bank near Southlake Mall. Artz spoke to a witness who noticed the abandoned forklift still running nearly five hours after police think the crime was committed.
"I thought it was odd that there was no alarm. For some reason there wasn't one on there," said the witness.
The witness also said the ATM had been worked on during the last several weeks and he wasn’t sure at first if it had been stolen or purposely moved.
Morrow detectives have still not found the ATM that apparently also did not have a tracking device.
Detectives do have surveillance video, but at this time they're only releasing pictures of the scene after the theft. Morrow Police Chief James Callaway said the video shows two men driving a 1999 red Chevrolet 1500. Police believe one of the suspects is newly released from jail, after serving nine years’ probation for a similar type crime.
"It is very disturbing for us that a criminal could go to jail for a short amount of time, for a serious crime, and be let out quickly and do the same thing again,” said Callaway.
While the Callaway would not comment specifically about the suspects, he said investigators are comparing similar type crimes from a year ago that could be tied to this one.
"It is an extremely bold crime,” said Callaway.
Anyone with information about the Fidelity ATM theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477, or Morrow Police at 770-961-4006. There is a reward for tips leading to an arrest and conviction.