Pleasanton Weekly

Community Pulse - April 16, 2010

Police Bulletin: Would-be thieves lasso ATM

A loud crash alerted residents to a van backing into the glass front doors of the Food and Deli in the 5000 block of Stoneridge Drive, shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday morning. The suspects tied a rope around the freestanding ATM machine inside the store and tried to move it with the van, according to Pleasanton police reports.

"They didn't get very far. It was bolted to the ground," said Lt. Jeff Bretzing.

The deli is located behind the courthouse, he said, and nearly residents called police when they heard the glass break. An alarm also alerted police.

Responding officers saw the white Ford van leaving the area but its driver failed to yield to the officers. They pursued the van through North Pleasanton and eventually onto I-580 where it headed west.

The van exited the freeway at Eden Canyon Road in Castro Valley, then drove west up the eastbound I-580 off-ramp. Police did not follow the suspects the wrong way onto the off-ramp. Minutes later California Highway Patrol officers and deputies from the Alameda County Sheriff in the area located the abandoned van. Sheriff's deputies used their K-9 to search the area for 30 minutes but the three suspects were not found.

No one saw the driver closely, but the two who entered the store are described by police as a while male, age 35-30, heavy set with a mustache and wearing blue jeans, a blue jacket and black and white shoes; and another male adult, possibly Asian, wearing blue jeans, a gray shirt, brown jacket and a camouflage cap.

Police determined that the van was stolen from Yang Fan Academy, a nearby childcare facility.

The ATM machine was damaged but no money was removed and nothing else was missing from the store, said Bretzing.

Police ask anyone with additional information to contact them at 931-5100. Bretzing said police also hope to obtain further information from the digital surveillance camera at the store.

--Dolores Fox Ciardelli

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