The suspects were reported early Friday morning as they were in the middle of prying the ATM free outside of the Yankee Deli on Avenue C in the East Village, ABC 7 reported. The suspects loaded the ATM into a vehicle with New Jersey license plates.
The driver pulled down most of the bodega wall along with the ATM as he tried to pull it free.
“I can’t believe that happened to my store because the neighborhood is quiet here, and it’s crazy,” deli owner Jose Collado said. “I’m very angry when I see that, because before the city was good, but now the city is crazy, there’s not a lot of police in the street.”
The suspects carried out their plan at around 4:30 a.m., but there were still plenty of witnesses despite the early hour.
Fernando Mateo of the United Bodegas of America told the New York Post that the industry is seeing an increase in similar ATM thefts.
“We have never witnessed anything like this before,” Matteo told the Post. “It’s like out of a movie script, they must have seen this on TV.”
UBA president Radames Rodriguez described the trend as “devastating” to bodega owners and workers.
“We work 15 hours a day and to wake up and find your bodegas in shambles is not acceptable,” Rodriguez said. “We have had enough and the Mayor must respond, what’ s going on in the City?”
The NYPD did not immediately release data on how many such robberies have happened, the Post reported.