SUV smashed into storefront
Authorities were looking on Wednesday for two men who tried to take an ATM from a Hammond-area business after smashing through the front of the business with a vehicle — the fourth such crime since late April.
No arrests have been reported in any of the cases. It is uncertain if they are related.
In the most recent case, Hammond police were notified around 3:30 a.m. Wednesday about an alarm going off at a convenience store at 1910 S. Morrison Blvd., police spokesman Lt. Vincent Giannobile reported Wednesday.
Officers found the front window of the store busted out near an ATM inside. The men had tampered with the machine, but it was still locked down in the store.
The two men were seen on surveillance footage unsuccessfully trying to take the machine before leaving.
The men were unidentifiable in the footage because they were completely clothed.
The vehicle used to smash the front of the store, a GMC Terrain SUV reported stolen in Ponchatoula, was recovered on Wells Drive in Hammond, Giannobile said.
A similar incident happened June 27 at a Pumpkin Center Road convenience store.
Tangipahoa Parish sheriff’s detectives arrived at the store around 2:30 a.m. and found that the front glass doors had been broken open and that cash boxes from the store’s ATMs had been burglarized.
Surveillance video shows a minivan, possibly pewter or silver blue, smashing the glass doors. Two men seen inside the vehicle were wearing dark hooded sweatshirts, gloves and something covering their faces.
On June 11, someone drove a white 2012 Nissan Altima into the state Office of Motor Vehicles’ Hammond branch at 1320 N. Morrison Blvd. and left with the ATM inside, police have said.
The Altima was seen around 2 a.m. leaving the parking lot of Times Square, where the office is located.
Investigators believe the Altima had been reported stolen that same day in Albany, and that it has a moderate amount of damage to its rear after backing into the building.
In the first such case, Tangipahoa sheriff’s deputies were notified April 28 about a wall torn down at Ryan’s Convenience Store and Deli on South Range Road.
Witnesses said people backed a white Ford F-250 pickup to the front entrance of the deli, hooked a chain to the front doors and pulled them down, the Sheriff’s Office has said.
The thieves then put a chain around an ATM in the store and pulled it into the parking lot. Deputies later discovered the machine’s cash box was missing.
Authorities eventually recovered the truck behind North Cypress Fitness Center in Hammond, where it was abandoned minutes after the burglary. The fugitives were seen leaving the area in a maroon Cougar with a silver or gray stripe on the sides.
Authorities found the ATM’s cash box on Choctaw Road in Baton Rouge.
Police have no witnesses in the latest burglary and were asking anyone with information about the case to call either Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa at (800) 554-5245 or the Hammond Police Department at (985) 277-5700.