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2 Arrested For Trying To Tow Cash Machine

Sun., June 1, 1997

Two Walla Walla teenagers were arrested for trying to kidnap an automatic teller machine.

Police arrested the duo late Thursday night after they allegedly tried to make off with a U.S. Bank ATM, using a truck and a heavy-duty chain.

Instead of cold cash, the two ended up with a stack of deposit envelopes and a banged-up truck.

“Physical evidence on the truck was consistent with the men trying to pull the ATM with the chain, and the chain ripping away part of the ATM and damaging the truck with a whipping motion,” according to court documents filed in Franklin County Superior Court.

“The ATM itself was partially demolished and had been broken open, although the cash area had not been breached.”

Somkhit Khatthavong, 18, was in jail while prosecutors consider charges of first-degree malicious mischief and attempted first-degree theft.

His alleged accomplice, a 14-year-old boy, was released to his parents. County Presocutor Steve Lowe said he will review the case before deciding whether to file charges against the juvenile.

Although a U.S. Bank employee estimated damage to the ATM at about $2,000, a sign taped to the smashed machine Friday afternoon read: “Hey!!! Guess what … It still works.”


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