Thieves' Getaway Van Stolen from Kids Center

By Julie Tam
|  Saturday, Sep 4, 2010  |  Updated 11:22 PM CDT
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The thieves rammed the van into an ATM to break it open, police said.

Julie Tam

The thieves rammed the van into an ATM to break it open, police said.

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A van used in a Richardson ATM theft this week was stolen from a nearby after-school program center.

Surveillance video shows burglars backing a stolen pickup truck into the glass storefront of the convenience store Ice House Beverages. Then they rammed the truck into the ATM to knock it off its base.

Police say the five men stole the ATM and loaded it into a red van stolen from the Neighborhood Service Council (NSC), an after-school program center for kids of low-income families, in Dallas.

The men left the truck behind and got away in the van.

"How could you do this to a small nonprofit?" said Susan Condatore, NSC's administration/operations manager.

Volunteers used the red van and a grey one to pick up 40 children from six Richardson public schools and bring them to the center.

"It felt so good to be able to get all 40 kids back in this location at one time," Condatore said. "If the kids aren't here, they get cheated out of that time with us."

The red van was parked in the parking lot in front of the NSC building. Glass is still on the ground from the window police say the thieves broke to get inside the van.

Just this summer, donations helped the center purchase the van and 10 booster seats worth nearly $18,000. Police have recovered the stolen van with a lot of damage, rows of seats ripped out, and missing booster seats.
 
"They had propped the ATM up against a tree and then apparently used the van to ram into the ATM machine once again until they were able to split the ATM open and retrieve the contents from it," said Sgt. Kevin Perlich, of the Richardson Police Department.

The NSC doesn't know how much insurance will cover. But they'll take extra security precautions once they get their van back from the repair shop.
 

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