Forklift used in F’ville ATM theft

A forklift being used on a remodeling project at a restaurant on Ga. Highway 85 South at the Summit Point shopping center was used to steal an ATM machine at the nearby Delta Community Credit Union office in the early morning hours of Aug. 21.

Fayetteville Police Det. Jeff Harris said unknown persons at approximately 3 a.m. on Aug. 21 hot-wired a forklift being used for a remodeling at the Wendy’s restaurant at Hwy. 85 South and Summit Point Drive.

The forklift was driven along the interparcel roads, then south behind the building that houses the Publix grocery store. The forklift then proceeded to the Delta Community Credit Union office on the south side of the shopping center, Harris said.

Video obtained from cameras in the area showed the forklift loading the ATM onto a late 1990s red Chevrolet pick-up truck, Harris said, adding that video also showed the pick-up driving through the shopping center parking lot prior to the arrival of the forklift at the credit union office.

The truck was found abandoned without the ATM machine in a gravel driveway just off Redwine Road near Ga. Highway 74 South at approximately 11:30 a.m. The property owner reported the vehicle to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, said Harris.

Harris said the vehicle had been stolen in Henry County within a 24-hour period preceding the ATM theft. The ATM machine was transferred from the pick-up truck to an unknown vehicle. Harris noted that the tailgate on the pick-up truck was missing.

Harris asked that anyone who saw or heard anything between 3-5 a.m. contact Det. Shawn Albea at 770-719-4222.

The ATM was valued at $50,000. The amount of money in the machine has not been determined, said Harris.

Harris said there are common elements in this theft with others that have occurred in Fayette County and the metro Atlanta area in recent years.