LAKE JACKSON — The outdoor ATM of First National Bank in Lake Jackson will be replaced after an attempted burglary, officials said.
The Lake Jackson Police Department received a phone call at about 6:30 a.m. Saturday from a person who had gone to make a deposit at the bank and observed a red 2002 Ford F-250 left next to the damaged ATM, Sgt. Carey Lankford said.
The ATM had been ripped out of the building it was housed in, and chains were still attached to the machine. Investigators believe several people broke into the enclosure, attempting to break into the ATM, but when they were unsuccessful, they attached chains and used the truck to rip the machine from the building, Lankford said. Attempts to either leave with the machine or break into it were unsuccessful, he said.
“All they managed to do was cause north of $30,000 worth of damage,” Lankford said.
Everything was abandoned at the scene, including the truck, which was reported stolen from the Houston area Friday, Lankford said.
It is believed the culprits left in another vehicle, which is typical for this type of crime, he said.
The vandalism prevented bank employees from unlocking the ATM safe, so assistance was requested from the fire department, First National Bank employee Sheri Barnhart said.
The fire department broke the safe open using heavy extrication tools typically used for removing people from vehicles, Lake Jackson Fire Chief Chris Harvey said.
“Considering the engineering of the safe, it probably took about an hour,” Harvey said.
The ATM will be replaced.
“We’ve already ordered a new safe,” said H.L. Buddy Baker Jr., president of First National Bank.