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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Another north Spokane drive-through ATM the target of want-to-be thieves

Another ATM was the target of rogue large machinery in north Spokane. It was again unsuccessful.

At about 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, a forklift was stolen from the Wandermere Car Wash Plaza and driven across the Fred Meyer parking lot where it rammed into a Banner Bank ATM off state Highway 395 on East Hastings Road. The forklift did plenty of damage to the ATMS outside, and took out chunks of concrete from pillars holding up the bank’s drive-through awning, but no cash was stolen.

“The ATM was not breached,” said Kelly McPhee, vice president of communications at Banner Bank. “Modern day ATMs are extremely safe and secure, and nearly impossible to breach.”

John Hansen, who owns the car wash where the forklift was stolen, was not as lucky. The irate business-owner said he was borrowing the lift from a friend, and had it parked in one of his car wash bay’s over night.

He didn’t realize it was stolen until he saw it on the news. He also couldn’t figure out why there were wooden pallets on the lift’s forks. He didn’t put those there.

“God, look at that,” he said, inspecting the lift’s wiring which had been cut and rearranged. “They tore that up. Hot wired it. Jesus Christ.”

Hansen said he caught two people on camera stealing the lift at about 4 a.m.. He said they both looked white. They left in a white pickup.

Deputy Mark Gregory, spokesman for the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office, said the attempted theft was called in just after 4:30 a.m. by a person who was in the Fred Meyer parking lot and heard “loud screeching noises.” They looked over and saw a guy hitting the ATM with the forklift.

The witness told deputies the man looked to be an adult male wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and a green construction reflector vest. He left in a white pickup.

On Oct. 16, Spokane police responded to a similar incident along Northwest Boulevard. A person stole a front-loading tractor and drove it into a Washington State Credit Union ATM before abandoning the machinery on TJ Meenach Bridge.

No cash was stolen in that incident either. The suspect was never located.

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