Note: This story was last updated at 12:45 p.m.
A stolen pickup truck and Bobcat were used in the unsuccessful Christmas morning plot to steal the safe from a standalone ATM in east Oak Ridge, authorities said.
The Oak Ridge Police Department said the unknown suspects used the truck, stolen from the nearby Waste Connections convenience center, to try to knock the automated teller machine off the concrete pad. When that didn’t work, they allegedly used the Bobcat, which was also stolen from Waste Connections.
The Bobcat demolished the ATM and hauled the ATM several hundred feet away before flipping over in a small culvert next to Bogola Road, which is the Oak Ridge Turnpike entrance to the convenience center.
The attempted theft is believed to have occurred at about 4:35 a.m. Christmas Day, said Steve Shaver, director of special services at Y-12 Federal Union. That’s when the system went offline at the ATM near the Tractor Supply Co. and KARM Thrift Store.
No cash was taken from the ATM, but the estimated damage to the ATM, truck, and Bobcat is more than $50,000, the ORPD said.
Shaver said the suspects were not able to get inside the steel-and-concrete safe, which is very difficult to penetrate and uses double combinations.
He said the suspects apparently wrapped a chain around the 4,000-pound safe after the Bobcat tipped over, and they tried to pull it out of the ditch with the stolen pickup truck.
“But when that safe when into the mud, they weren’t able to remove it,” Shaver said.
He said the Waste Connections truck was found near the Bobcat, which was tipped over a few feet away from the safe.
Shaver said he couldn’t disclose how much money was inside the safe, but Y-12 Federal Credit Union officials opened it this morning and accounted for all of the money.
Shaver said the Bobcat had tongs, and the suspects apparently used them to pull the ATM from its island mount and then used the tongs to remove the outer skin, which is made of sheet metal and plexiglass, exposing the gray safe.
Shaver said the ATM island did not have a camera, but officials are looking at Waste Connections cameras.
The ORPD said the investigation continues, and the suspects have yet to be identified.
Shaver said that the ATM in east Oak Ridge had not been targeted before, and Y-12 FCU has never had anyone try to steal an ATM with a Bobcat before, although that might have occurred elsewhere in the industry.
Shaver said he first heard about the attempted theft from the police department, which responded at about 6 a.m. Wednesday to a report of vandalism and attempted theft. Someone apparently spotted the turned-over Bobcat and called it in as a possible accident, Shaver said.
He said the ATM was insured, and Y-12 Federal Credit Union should have a replacement unit there within about two weeks.
You can call the police department at (865) 425-3499 if you have any information regarding this incident.