One lucky thief stole an ATM courier van containing $ 1.8 million in cash from the parking lot of a Georgia bank after two careless couriers left it running while making a routine stop. And two weeks later, federal authorities haven’t found their suspect.
Surveillance cameras at Citizens Trust Bank in the 25000 hundred block of South Harriston were able to capture a blurry image of the suspect – a man wearing dark pants and a baggy gray long-sleeve shirt with a black backpack -as he smashed the window of the van and drove off while the two couriers were inside. The drivers were gone for ten minutes – meaning the thief netted approximately $ 180,000 a minute, tax free.
The couriers had left the van running, but locked both doors. When they returned from their drop off, the van was gone. All they found was broken glass. Later that day, DeKalb County marshals found the van ditched in a neighborhood up the street. But the cash and suspect were missing, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
About 6:45 a.m., two ATM Response Inc. employees pulled into the bank parking lot and went inside with an unspecified amount of money.
“The driver locked the vehicle doors but left the keys in the ignition and the vehicle running,” Emmett said. The couriers were inside the bank between 10 and 15 minutes. They returned to find the van gone. All that was left was broken glass.
The ease with which the theif succeeded in pulling off the heist prompted some to question whether the thief had been tipped off by one of the couriers, according to Atlanta's WSB-TV 2.
“I can't believe he managed to do this,” one woman who did not identify herself told Jaquez. “Seems like an inside job."
Since Sept. 8, the day of the heist, the FBI and DeKalb County officials have been searching for the perpetrator, but have yet to stumble on any leads. Of course, it's possible that federal agents might be able to trace the cash back to whomever spent it if it reenters the banking system.