VIDEO: Thieves steal ATM from Wicker Park tobacco shop

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Thieves stole an ATM from a tobacco shop in Wicker Park Monday morning, Chicago police said.

The burglary occurred at about 2:40 a.m. in the 1800-block of West Division Street. Officers arrived to find the front door smashed in and broken before discovering an ATM in the rear of the business was taken.

Surveillance video shows two men trying to snatch the heavy ATM, but the electrical cord was still attached, so a third suspect came and helped yank it out.

The thieves dressed in masks and gloves were able to haul it away and then they came back to steal tobacco products and two hookahs, worth a total of nearly $1,000.

The owner of Smoke Times tobacco shop said he has been at the location for eight years and was alerted to the break-in by his security company.

"I drove. I come to my store and already cops are 4 to 5 cops are inside and they're taking pictures," the owner said.

The shop has been in the neighborhood for about eight years and this isn't the first time it's been targeted. Four years ago, thieves broke in and two years before that the store was robbed. They took merchandise each time, but never went after the ATM.

The store's manager said this store is his livelihood and protecting his business is difficult.

"This is my life. I am married. I have three kids and wife," he said.

Police said there could be cases connected where thieves are taking the whole ATMs, but detectives are waiting for a formal link, like with DNA or fingerprints to say definitively.

"There is evidence that suggests that this burglary in Wicker Park is connected to the one in University Village area and we actually have made arrests in that one," said Officer Michelle Tannehill with the Chicago Police Department.

The University Village ATM theft happened in early September on Taylor Street. Since then Isiah Doss and Dwayne Anderson, both 22-years-old from the West side, have been charged with felony burglary and officials said surveillance footage was key.

"If you have surveillance footage keep your business is lit. If there are any broken doors with the glass or broken locks, repair those immediately so it doesn't occur again," Officer Tannehill said.

Area North detectives are investigating. No one is in custody.
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