GASTONIA, N.C. -- Two suspects crashed a van through a Gastonia convenience store and stole the shop’s ATM, according to the police department.
It happened around 12:30 a.m. Friday at Mountain Shop Convenience Store in the 300 block of Archie Whitesides Road.
The suspects fled after grabbing the ATM. The machine has been recovered but is severely damaged. Police say cash was stolen.
"I really thought I was having a bad dream," said building owner Wayne Rednour, "debris was out here in the parking lot. it was everywhere. The wall was pushed all the way into the store. There was concrete blocks in the store."
The people were seen on surveillance video in masks and dark clothing, making them difficult to identify. The investigation is ongoing.
Police said there have been two other similar "smash-and-dash" ATM thefts in the area over the past month.
Rednour said his insurance recently lapsed on the building, so he will have to pay for repairs out of pocket. He hopes the crooks are caught.
"I feel sorry for them. I'm not happy they destroyed my building, but the smartest and best thing I can do is pray for them. It makes me angry but I can't judge them. I just wish they wouldn't do it."
Anyone with information is asked to call 704-861-8000.
Crime Stoppers is offering to pay up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction.