Suspects steal excavator, used it in attempted ATM bank robbery

Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-14 17:26:36-04

BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Brownstown Township Police were alerted to a robbery attempt via excavator in progress Saturday morning in the Chase Bank parking lot at the intersection of King Road and Allen Road. Bank security notified police after their cameras caught the robbery attempt in progress.

“They actually saw an excavator trying to get the ATM loose or steal it and break into it basically,” explained Detective Lieutenant Andrew Starzec with the Brownstown Police Department.

He said after the robbery attempt was unsuccessful, the suspects took off in a stolen white pickup truck, heading north on I-75. Police located the car and a chase ensued. However, the suspects were eventually able to get away after splitting up on foot.

“The suspects were described as two younger, middle-20s Hispanic males. They were wearing all black but we do have some video as well as some witnesses who saw them when they fled the pickup trucks,” said Starzec.

Starzec doesn’t believe it was likely a crime of opportunity.

“I think it’s unrealistic to think that people are just driving around to look for an excavator to then break into an ATM but clearly these were not masterminds,” said Starzec.

Jamie Petree showed up at the bank Monday hoping to make an ATM deposit for her son.

“I was wondering what happened to it. Cause like the whole thing was gone,” explained Petree.

She said it’s a sign of the times.

“I mean gas prices, grocery prices, people are desperate,” Petree said.

Cox, the superintendent of Compeau Brothers Excavating, the company whose excavator was stolen, explained why the crime was completely unnecessary.

“If we would have known the guy knew how to operate the machine, we would have given you a job and you wouldn’t have to go stealing things and taking other people’s things,” said Cox.

He explained not just anyone would know how to operate such machinery.

“Not just by climbing in it. No. It would take you a while to figure out how to operate it,” Cox said.

Craig Hammond was also shocked to see what had happened at his Chase Bank.

“You know I can’t believe something like that would be going on in Woodhaven,” said Hammond.

He said he thinks catching the suspects is now only a matter of time for police.