Three men accused of stealing an ATM may get an “A” for creativity, but their daring plan ended up failing when they couldn't make a quick getaway.
Three men stole a front-end loader from a road project on East Rosedale Avenue in Fort Worth at about 4 a.m. Wednesday and drove it more than a mile to the OmniAmerican Bank, police said.
Officers responding to an alarm call found the men had severely damaged the bank's drive-through, ripped out the ATM and were driving away slowly -- with the money machine loaded on the front of the construction vehicle, police said.
"This is definitely something we don't encounter every day," said Fort Worth police Sgt. Chad Mahaffey. "The officers saw the suspects, and as soon as the suspects saw the officers, the chase was on."
A foot chase, that is. The driver jumped off the front-end loader and ran. Officers captured him and a second man nearby. The third man got away, police said.
Bert Williams, the owner of Bert's Liquor store across the street, said he wasn't sure what to think when he arrived at his business about an hour later.
"The front-end loader was over there,” he said. “And the police were everywhere. I had never seen so many police around here."
"I'm glad they got caught,” said neighbor June Smith. “That shows what? They're not stupid, they're dumb.”
Police identified the suspects as Bobby Lee, 48, and Darius Jackson, 18, both of Dallas.
Detectives are investigating if the same men may be responsible for several similar ATM thefts in Dallas, Mahaffey said.
"We're considering this a win,” he said. “Unfortunately, there's a lot of damage left behind."
A spokeswoman for Omni American declined to estimate how long it would take to repair the damage and referred questions on the theft to police.