Authorities are hoping the arrests of two people allegedly caught trying to steal ATMs might help curb the destructive trend.
Baltimore police arrested a teenager over the weekend after a car drove into a small business in West Baltimore, in an attempt to steal the ATM. Police said over the weekend that the suspect identified himself as a 17-year-old, but police said Monday that he is 18 and will be charged as an adult. Court records suggest he may be older.
He was ordered held without bail by a judge at a bail review Monday, records show, a rare move for a property crime case.
A police spokeswoman, detective Nicole Monroe, said they have “not ruled out the possibility that the juvenile arrested this weekend for attempting to steal an ATM could be connected to other incidents,” and said they were working to identify possible accomplices and “other parties working in concert in furtherance of these commercial burglaries of ATMs.”
There were 70 reported ATM thefts in the city in 2020, and police say there have been 29 this year — a decline they believe could be attributable to efforts to educate small business owners about how to secure their machines.
But until recently, there had been no arrests touted by police.
County police say they caught one person who was part of a group of people trying to steal an ATM in Cockeysville last month. And the city police arrest over the weekend makes two in a short period of time.
In surveillance videos, the thieves work together with efficiency, but it is unclear whether it was one crew or several, or whether others have attempted to copy the thefts.
Lindsey Eldridge, the Baltimore Police Department’s chief spokeswoman, said of the 29 thefts this year in the city, only six involved a vehicle driving into a store. Before Sunday, the most recent involved a van driving into a Walgreen’s in the Anneslie Shopping Center. A woman who identified herself as the store manager said the store doesn’t plan on replacing the ATM.