FARMINGTON — Farmington police said an ATM was stolen from a Farmington bank early Sunday morning.
It was the second straight weekend when an ATM was taken from a local bank. The suspects used a similar method to steal the machines during each burglary, police said.
Both machines were destroyed but no money was removed, Farmington police Lt. Taft Tracy said. Police said the total cost of the two machines exceeds $100,000.
At 7:20 a.m. on Sunday, police responded to 4395 Largo St., where an ATM was found in a Dumpster. The ATM belonged to Citizens Bank, 4220 Hudson St. Police believe the machine was stolen earlier Sunday morning.
The ATM, valued at $53,000, was damaged but no money was taken from the machine's vault.
On June 16, an ATM was stolen from Animas Credit Union, 2101 E. 20th Street.
During that attempted burglary, at about 9:40 p.m. a vehicle and chains were used to pull the ATM from its location at the bank. Police found the machine in the bank's parking lot.
The machine was destroyed but no money was taken, police said.
During Sunday's robbery, a vehicle with a chain pulled the ATM away from its place in the bank parking lot. The ATM was found several hours later in a nearby Dumpster.
Police believe the same vehicle was used in each burglary but they did not release a description of the vehicle because of the ongoing investigation.
"It seems as though this is a team effort," Tracy said. "It's probably a team of two individuals at least."
Tracy said both of the ATMs are large machines at banks that have more money than other ATMs around the city. Police didn't release how much money was in the machine.
Danny Beyhan, the chief operations officer at Citizens Bank, said the bank has ordered an ATM to replace the destroyed machine. He estimated the new machine will be functioning in about 90 days.
In the future the bank may look at putting its outdoor ATM at a more secure location to prevent another burglary.
"But we need a drive-through ATM for our customers," he said.
Police are asking residents to report any suspicious activity near ATMs. Police are advising people not to approach any suspects near an ATM and to instead call police immediately.
Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Farmington police at 505-327-7701 or San Juan County Crime Stoppers at 505-334-8477 where callers can remain anonymous and receive a cash reward.
Ryan Boetel covers crime for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4644 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @rboetel on Twitter.