Houston robbery crews attempt nearly simultaneous ATM thefts, remain at large

A Wells Fargo ATM is shut down from damage Monday, Dec. 8, 2014, the result of a violent protest Sunday night, in Berkeley, Calif. The second straight night of protests in Berkeley over police killings in Missouri and New York led to at least five arrests and left two officers with minor injuries. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

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Two crews. Two white vans. Two ATM robberies. One successful. One, not so much.

This is what police said occurred in Houston during the early morning hours of Wednesday.

In one instance, at least six armed men reportedly burst into the Holiday Inn on Kenswick Drive in Humble near Intercontinental Airport.

Authorities said the men shattered the front door of the hotel at around 3:30 a.m. and pointed guns in the faces of the clerks; they then hauled off an ATM from the lobby, speeding off in a white panel van.

RELATED: Another ATM Is Stolen – This Time, in Southeast Houston

At nearly the same time, police said another crew in another white van attempted another ATM theft.

This crew, which investigators say they are still working to deteremine if they are related to the airport incident, attempted to steal an ATM from a service station at Washington and Studemont near downtown Houston.

According to reports, the men drove the van through the station’s front window and tried unsuccessfully to remove the ATM; police said they later found the van parked a few yards away from the shattered store front.

The incidents mark a continuation of a series of robberies, including both ATM thefts and armored car robberies, during which police said thieves target locations they perceive as both highly vulnerable and loaded with cash.

RELATED: ATM robberies at Marriott properties are linked

Last December, a gang of thieves stole ATMs from five Houston hotels in only a week.

In early January, three men drove a pickup truck into a service station near NRG Stadium and attempted to steal the ATM; when they failed to dislodge the machine, they abandoned their stuck truck.

If you would like to share information on these or the latest incidents, contact your local authorities or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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