OAKLAND, Calif. -- Would-be thieves used a backhoe to bust through the front of an Oakland, California store, causing some $70,000 of damage in a failed attempt to steal an ATM.
Surveillance video shows the backhoe crashing through the bulletproof glass of the ampm store in West Oakland on Monday morning. A store clerk had to jump out of the way as the backhoe began cracking through the glass just inches from his face.
Video shows the backhoe then tearing apart an ATM.
"They tore up the whole front! That's at least $70,000 worth of damage," said Ali Abdulla, owner of the ampm store that was damaged. He says the clerk who was working is OK.
Outdoor surveillance video shows the masked individuals first breaking into the store with the backhoe, then backing a white pickup truck to the entrance. Soon they can be seen pulling out a chain to connect to the damaged ATM.
Abdulla says the chain wasn't long enough to connect to the ATM so when the would-be thieves heard sirens, at least one jumped into the back of the pickup and drove off without taking anything.
"I was born and raised in Oakland, I'm 51 years old and I've never seen nothing like this. I think the only way you can run a business in Oakland is - as soon as you close, you sleep in your store and stay locked and loaded with an AK-47 and just be ready because the police is not coming on time. And I'm not blaming the police because there's just not enough of them out there," says Abdulla.
He says he is frustrated by the thousands of dollars worth of damage to his store, and also upset over what has happened to other businesses in Oakland. He wants to know where his tax dollars are going when it comes to public safety.
"This is not what we were promised, this is not the American dream, I don't see the American dream, I think it's American nightmare right now!"
When officers arrived, the backhoe was still there, but no signs of the vandals and a heavily damaged store.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the OPD Burglary Unit at (510) 238-3951.