Florida police have captured two robbers who were attempting to flee after seizing and ATM from the local bank with the help of a stolen backhoe. The robbers, identified as Francisco Hernandez, 53, and Jesus Antonio Sanchez, 50, are both residents of Clewiston. They are currently being held at the Polk County Jail on grand theft auto charges, the Bench Mark Reporter reported.
Hernandez and Sanchez are believed to have stolen the backhoe from a local construction site, before heading to Winter Haven and stealing an ATM from the wall of the CentreState Bank. The entire incident was captured by a surveillance camera near the ATM. The footage confirmed the robbery took place at midnight on Friday.
The two suspects claim that they were innocent as they had been collecting scrap metal and were unable to recall where items pulled by the investigating deputy had been located. Hernandez was previously known to officials due to an outstanding arrest warrant for Hendry County for violating his probation. Sanchez was also on probation for a previous grand theft offense.
According to a bank representative, the suspects did manage to take the ATM from the wall, however they did not attempt to open it.
Backhoes are generally used to excavate or dig and are usually mounted on tractors and front loaders. The suspects have been refereed to as “brazen” for their attempt at stealing the ATM. The motivation of the two men remains unclear and both remain in holding at Polk County Jail.
Recent reports suggest that ATM robbery is on the rise as criminals turn to steal ATM’s rather than swiping credit cards. In 2010 in Texas, 100 ATM machines were reported stolen. Bank robberies, on the other hand, have been reported to be down.