Police seek help identifying theft suspects

Missing ATM recovered in a ditch

Images of the suspects in this week's destructive ATM theft in Port Rowan were captured on surveillance camera. Photos from the scene suggest those responsible for Monday's break-in at the Front Road Esso wore Halloween-style masks during the commission of the crime. Norfolk OPP / Contributed photo

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Thieves that caused serious damage to the Esso convenience store and service station in Port Rowan earlier this week wore Halloween-style costumes as they committed the crime.

On Thursday, Norfolk OPP released surveillance images of the suspects after they broke into the store. The images show two men wearing rubberized masks as they milled about the property.

A third image shows two dark-coloured pickup trucks in the parking lot outside the service station, which is located on Front Road at the intersection of Highway 59.

The break-in occurred in the early-morning hours of Monday. It was the latest theft in recent months in the local area involving an automated teller machine (ATM).

The culprits in this instance hitched a chain or a rope to the ATM and yanked it out of the store with one of the vehicles.

The front of the store disintegrated as the suspects made their get-away. Total damage was estimated at $75,000. The Esso station will remain closed until contractors repair the damage and make the property safe again.

The suspect vehicles were last seen heading north on Highway 59. Norfolk OPP reported Thursday that the missing ATM was recovered in a ditch.

Police are investigating whether all this damage was for nothing. They are not sure whether the thieves collected any money for their effort.

“The ATM broke free from the truck and ended up in the ditch,” Const. Ed Sanchuk, spokesperson for the Norfolk OPP, said Thursday in an email. “Officers recovered it. I don’t believe any cash was taken.”

Anyone with information related to this crime is asked to contact the Norfolk OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers of Haldimand and Norfolk at 1-800-222-8477. Callers to Crime Stoppers who help solve a crime are eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com

Images of the suspects in this week’s destructive ATM theft in Port Rowan were captured on surveillance camera. Photos from the scene suggest those responsible for Monday’s break-in at the Front Road Esso wore Halloween-style masks during the commission of the crime. Norfolk OPP / Contributed photo

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