Recovered ATM may have been stolen from area store

DAYTON — Dayton police recovered an ATM Wednesday that they suspect is one of the machines stolen in a recent rash of bold smash-and-grab thefts.

At least three local stores have been targeted recently, including this week when someone wrapped a chain round an ATM at a West Third Street drive-thru and dragged it away.

Neighbors along Hoover Avenue gave police a call after noticing suspicious activity behind a vacant home.

Officers began checking the cluttered backyard of the abandoned home Wednesday afternoon and discovered an ATM.

"It hurts the whole community for real, because it makes the whole city look bad, because it is not the only place that got hit," said Jacob Cannon, who works at the Four Points Market on Gettysburg Avenue. "That's the bad part about it."

Surveillance at the market shows someone break into the business last week, wrap a chain around the ATM and pull it out of the building and down the street.

The same thing happened this week at the Crown Point Drive Thru on West Third Street, and similar crimes happened several weeks ago at the Estridge Grocery on Hoover Avenue.

"A lot of people come here to try to use the ATM," said Cannon. "Now that it's gone, a lot of people that walk here can't get to the ATM. It's bad."

Police have not released which business the recovered ATM belongs to, but the brand matches the ATM that was stolen from Four Points Market.

A Dayton police report said officers located the recovered ATM at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Montgomery County Jail records indicate police arrested 27-year-old Robert Easterly at about the same time and booked him for theft.

He was listed as a person with information in the police report, but police are not confirming his connection to the crimes.

Employees at the victimized market said that they're not surprised the ATM only ended up about a mile from their store.

"It doesn't surprise me, doesn't surprise me at all, because if you're going to do it, you got to do it fast," said Cannon.

Neighbors said they've even seen abandoned and suspected stolen vehicles in the area. They said it supports what city officials often say, that vacant homes are a magnet for activity that shouldn't be happening.

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