Hope police were still looking Monday for a pair of men who almost completed a daring early-morning theft of an automated teller machine from a local drug store.
Hope Police Assistant Chief Kim Tomlin said this morning that investigators are working from evidence taken at the scene to identify the two men who allegedly broke into the Walgreen's Drug Store at Bill Clinton Drive and North Hervey Street about 6 a.m. Saturday and stole the Diamond Bank ATM, but later crashed their getaway vehicle on Interstate 30 and fled on foot.
Workers at the pharmacy said Saturday the pair apparently broke through two plate glass window panes at the front entrance, using one to gain entry into the building, and the other to possibly remove the ATM. The machine was bolted to the floor near the cash register queue at the front of the store. All four bolts were apparently replaced after the to men removed the machine.
Tomlin said once the two thieves got the ATM outside, they loaded it into a gray Astro van and drove away onto Interstate 30. She said HPD officers alerted by the burglar alarm system at the store gave chase, later locating the van off the roadway at the 22 mile marker on I-30 after it had apparently collided with a tree.
Tomlin said the thieves fled on foot, and that officers recovered the van and the ATM.