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Stolen ATM recovered, but money is long gone

December 23, 2011 |  3:28 pm

An ATM stolen Friday morning from a Chase bank in Laguna Hills was recovered, but the money and thieves are still missing, along with a stolen truck.

Two men drove a flatbed pickup stolen from John's Towing in Santa Ana to the bank at 24085 El Toro Roads, where they tried to wrap a cable around the ATM and pull it out. They then knocked it over with the truck and loaded it onto the bed.

The thieves then drove to 2311 Cherry St. in Lake Forest, where they used a blow torch to open the machine and remove the cash, said Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jim Amormino. 

They jumped a fence to the adjacent Living Green Nursery and stole a white Chevrolet utility truck with license plate number 8B26258.

The ATM machine, which was recovered, was worth about $80,000, Amormino said. Authorities have not  disclosed how much cash was inside.

No detailed description of the thieves was available. Orange County and federal officials are investigating the case.


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