Acme Bank of Montreal ATM stolen



The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) was yanked from the walls of the Acme Branch of the Bank of Montreal some time in the early hours of Saturday, December 4.
The crime was reported to police at 5:15 am, the same time slot as one month ago when an active robbery was reported in progress at ATB Financial in Linden (Tuesday, Nov. 2). The thieves were interrupted before they could make away with the bank machine, abandoning some of the stolen vehicles they were using to commit the crime.
This was not the case in Acme. There were no witnesses and the only vehicle that RCMP are investigating as maybe being involved, is a semi truck that was reported stolen out of Crossfield and later found abandoned in Airdrie. In Acme, the ATM, in its entirety, was removed and although "The vault within is not easy to open, with enough time," say police, "it is not impossible to gain entry." The inner vault from a bank ATM is of a much stronger quality than a business (convenience store/fuel station) ATM.
The way in which a Bank ATM is inserted into these walls, the damage caused by jerking them out can be extensive. Often a stolen truck is used as a battering ram to open the doors and gain easier access to the ATM. Chains and a stolen backhoe are typically used to wrench the machine from the wall. Perhaps even a fridge trolley could be used to help move it. Then it is hauled away in a truck or trailer.
In Linden, the walls and doors have still not been repaired but at least staff and patrons have an alternative entrance for regular banking, even though it could be some time before citizens can enjoy the convenience of an ATM again.
In Acme, the damage was also extensive and it was unfortunately, at the only public entrance. It could be a while (no date could be given) before staff are back to work or patrons will have convenient access to their local bank. By Monday morning work crews had boarded up the outside wall and put in a temporary metal door while renovations are in progress.
Some time over the weekend, whether Saturday or Sunday morning, the metal door of the night deposit cubicle at the Mountain View Credit Union in Linden was also damaged. It first became known to staff on Sunday morning when a citizen noticed the metal panel laying on the ground. This incident was then reported to police.
RCMP are actively investigating six such robberies of ATM's at both rural banks and rural businesses (convenience/fuel stores), including Crossfield, Irricana, Acme, Beiseker and Linden. RCMP Cst. Bjarnason of Airdrie does not know of any such recent ATM robberies in the city of Airdrie. "We are in the process of obtaining assistance from other areas that have some specialized experience with this kind of robbery. We are collecting statistics and making links, intelligence gathering, and we will, of course, be adding some patrols during these prime times. There is no doubt there is a pattern here, even an environmental pattern that could mean the suspects have local ties. It's very possible there is a link and we hope the public will be able to assist in this regard."
Police are asking that you keep your vehicles locked and report any stolen vehicles immediately. If you have any information the police would appreciate your assistance.