Stolen ATM falls out of the back of burglars' getaway van

LYNNWOOD, Wash. -- Thieves targeted a Fred Meyer store in Lynnwood, but they weren't aiming to steal goods -- they wanted the ATM.

In the past year, there have been at least four ATM thefts or attempted thefts in Western Washington.

In the most recent case, at the Fred Meyer store on 164th Street SW in Lynnwood, investigators said the thieves successfully loaded up their stolen van with an ATM after cutting the cables. It happened at about 11 p.m. Sunday.

“As they were driving away, it’s believed they were driving too fast, hit a speed bump in the parking lot, the ATM fell out and the van kept going,” said Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shari Ireton.

Snohomish County sheriff’s detectives recovered the stolen van used in the theft nearby. The van is believed to have been reported stolen out of Kent.

It isn’t the first botched ATM theft in recent months, like one caught on video in Graham just days before Christmas when thieves rammed a stolen car through a grocery store, trying to pull the cash machine out using straps and without realizing it was bolted to the floor.

Law enforcement agencies from Arlington and Normandy Park have also investigated ATM thefts in the past several months.

Several jurisdictions are now working to see if their cases are connected.

“We are definitely reaching out to other law enforcement agencies to compare notes with their thefts that they’ve had,” said Ireton.

Snohomish County is now working to get surveillance inside the Fred Meyer store in hopes to lead them to thieves who could be behind not just one but a rash of ATM thefts in the area.

Investigators said they very limited description of the suspects in this most recent case, other than they are two men who were driving a stolen white van.

Anyone who may have been near the Fred Meyer store Sunday night around 11 p.m. and saw a suspicious white van is urged to call the sheriff’s office.