Thieves using SUVs to smash into businesses to steal ATMs: police

Hamilton police say they are investigating a "rash of early morning break and enters" by people who are ramming SUVs through local businesses and then dragging off their ATMs.

"These suspects are causing significant damage to the buildings during the entries," a police news release reads.

Detectives have not actually revealed how many of these incidents have occurred, where, or over what time period. Investigators did not immediately return calls for comment.

Police say the most recent occurrence happened on Tuesday, at the Spring Grill Restaurant at 1441 Upper James St. At around 4:45 a.m., three people used a stolen SUV like a battering ram to smash through the front window and knock over the ATM.

"The suspects then removed the ATM machine before fleeing the scene," a police news release reads.

Investigators urge businesses with ATMs to guard themselves against smash-and-grabs by moving their machines away from businesses and doors.

They also say machines should be in the viewing range of security cameras, and also chained down or bolted to the floor.

"Businesses should ensure the machines are emptied on a regular basis to limit the amount of cash inside," police say.

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