Even as I was posting the previous entry about thieves using construction equipment in an attempt to steal an ATM, a Get Rich Slowly reader was forwarding the following to me. As you can see, it’s a remarkably similar story, though it took place three years ago on the other side of Portland. I wonder: does this sort of thing happen a lot?

Backhoe Used to Steal ATM, Police Say
by Kate Taylor
(from the 08 October 2003 edition of the Portland Oregonian)

Police and federal investigators are searching for suspects after robbers Monday toppled an ATM with a backhoe, hefted it into a truck and drove to Aurora, where they plundered the machine.

The crime began about 5 a.m., police said, when robbers driving a stolen truck from Portland — its construction company logo covered in black tape — arrived at a construction site at Southwest Boones Ferry and Wilsonville roads. They took a backhoe from the site, drove it across the street to a U.S. Bank, knocked over an ATM in a drive-through lane and, using the backhoe’s shovel, dumped it in the stolen truck. After parking the backhoe, they drove the machine to a dirt road in Aurora and took everything but about $200 and some postal stamps, said Chief Chris Conboy of Aurora police.

“I find it intriguing. It took a lot of planning,” Conboy said.

There was room in the truck for four or five people, and it probably took that many to lug the machine around, he said.

Aurora police found the mangled machine about 9 a.m. on Mill Race Road.

Also Monday, robbers took more than $20,000 in laser imaging equipment from a construction site shack owned by Valley Pacific Construction in Donald, said a company secretary, Carolyn Tjaarda.

Clackamas County sheriff’s investigators suspect the two incidents are related.

The FBI is investigating the ATM incident because bank robberies are federal crimes, FBI spokeswoman Beth Anne Steele said.

Steele said she knows of two similar incidents during the past few years, one in Bend and one in Salem.

At the construction site — where workers are building several stores — Joe Fedor, superintendent of Robertson & Olson Construction, said the theft of tools hurt hard-working people.

“Tools are what these guys use to make their livelihood,” he said. “So when someone steals them, that’s about as low as you get.”

If you find a funny money story that might be appropriate for Blogathon, please send it along! If I can find the time to look at it, I will.

Don’t try this at home.

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