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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Crime/Public Safety

Man drives front-loader into ATM in north Spokane, escapes without money

UPDATED: Mon., Oct. 16, 2017

The ATM machine at the WSECU on Northwest Boulevard lies in ruins, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Spokane, Wash., after a man drove a backhoe into it, The man fled without money. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
The ATM machine at the WSECU on Northwest Boulevard lies in ruins, Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, in Spokane, Wash., after a man drove a backhoe into it, The man fled without money. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

While workers of the Washington State Employees Credit Union in north Spokane are used to seeing oddities venture up to their drive-thru ATM, an incident Monday morning was a definite first.

“We’ve had people on horses come through before, but never a tractor,” said Ann Flannigan, vice president of public relations for WSECU. “There’s a first for everything.”

Except this front-loader came early in the morning, when the bank was still closed. And the driver, who is still on the loose from Spokane police, was apparently attempting to break the ATM open and steal the money inside. He was unsuccessful.

“They didn’t get too far,” Flannigan said. “Really, the only damage appears to be the cosmetic stuff. It’s still operational, actually. It’s not available, but it’s operational.”

Officer John O’Brien, spokesman for the Spokane Police Department, said officers were called to the credit union, at 2523 W. Northwest Blvd., at about 5:15 a.m. The tractor was apparently stolen from a nearby construction site and abandoned on the TJ Meenach Bridge.

Flannigan said the branch was working with police to pull and review surveillance video that captured the incident. She said the drive-thru would be closed until the unit is repaired.

A Spokane police K-9 team searched for the man Monday morning but he was not located, O’Brien said. The tractor was returned to the construction site.

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