'Heartless' thief with sledgehammer smashes into Utica Dave & Buster's to steal money

Video shows man stealing cash from ATMs, Make-A-Wish donation box

UTICA, Mich. - A "heartless" thief armed with a sledgehammer smashed his way into a Dave & Buster's in Utica to steal cash from ATMs and a Make-A-Wish donation box, police said.

Authorities said the man was caught on camera taking the box, which was used to collect money for sick children.

When the general manager of Dave & Buster's pulled up Wednesday morning, he saw the broken glass and called police.

Dave & Buster's in Utica. (WDIV)

Security cameras captured video of a man busting into the restaurant around 4 a.m. Wednesday, using a sledgehammer.

"It looks like he had a sledgehammer with him and he broke into the front glass," Utica police Detective Greg Morabito said. "He went over to a Pac-Man game that's clearly marked 'Make-A-Wish Foundation' and was able to break into that -- stole a large quantity of cash out of there."

He targeted the ATMs with the sledgehammer and managed to get away with two cases of money out of the two ATMs in the back, Morabito said.

Surveillance video shows a man kicking a Pac-Man game inside Dave & Buster's in Utica. (WDIV)

Surveillance video shows a man using a sledgehammer on an ATM machine inside Dave & Buster's in Utica. (WDIV)

Utica police think the man might have had an accomplice. They also believe he's been to the Dave & Buster's before.

"It seemed like he pretty much knew where all the machines were," Morabito said. "He didn't hesitate. It didn't look like he was looking around."

Police said the worst part of the break-in was the loss of the Make-A-Wish donation box.

"That's for children that are sick, that have a poor quality of life because they're so sick, and they're just trying to give these kids an opportunity to enjoy some time, having something fun in their life instead of being in chemotherapy or getting X-rays or radiation all the time, and he took money from that," Morabito said. "I find that appalling."

Morabito said he hopes someone will recognize the man and come forward to help them make an arrest.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the video is asked to call Utica police at 586-731-2345 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP.

You can view the surveillance footage from inside the Dave & Buster's below.

You can hear the full interview with Morabito below.

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