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Why Orange County authorities think a serial ATM machine thief may be on the loose

A man may be using the same tactics with a tow-strap and a pickup truck to rip ATM machines out of Orange County businesses.

Authorities investigating a burglary at an Orange barbershop believe the same suspect may have targeted a nail salon in February and a laundromat in December.

Security video footage from Golden Touch Barbershop on Tustin Avenue showed a man wearing a black and orange hoodie parking his white Ram pickup truck right in front of the shop early Monday morning, smashing the glass windows, putting a rope around the ATM machine inside the business and yanking it out with his car.

It turned out similar scenes panned out at the Color Me nail salon in Anaheim Hills and OK Coin Laundry on Batavia Street in Orange.

“We suspect the guys going out, looking in advance, looking for these cash machines — ATMs — and finding an opportunity to come back during early morning hours or late at night,” Lt. Phil McMullin with the Orange Police Department said. 

The most recent incident (left) happened at a barbershop in Orange on Monday while the same truck was apparently used in other thefts at a laundromat (middle) and a nail salon. (right)

Video clips from the Color Me nail salon showed two men using the same pickup truck to rip the ATM machine from inside the business. And one of the men appeared to be wearing the same hoodie in the barbershop burglary.

“[I’ve been] here for almost 20 years,” Helen Nguyen, the nail salon owner, said. “I’m so scared because of my location and safety.”

Nguyen suspected the men who stole her ATM may have been in her shop just two days before the incident.

“Two guys – big guys – came here to do pedicure and manicure,” Nguyen recalled. 

The nail salon owner said she had to spend more than $10,000 to repair her business, in addition to $2,700 inside the now-stolen ATM machine. 

Detectives said the plates on the pickup truck came back stolen. 

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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