FBI involved after thieves steal around $26K targeting ATMs in Metro Detroit: What we know

‘They want to get to the cash canisters, the dispensers, and it’s more difficult for machines built into walls or machines built into structures’

A Metro Detroit credit union, the FBI, and four local police agencies are looking for some crafty thieves. The thieves are attacking automatic teller machines all across the area with brute force and quick timing.

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A Metro Detroit credit union, the FBI, and four local police agencies are looking for some crafty thieves.

The thieves are attacking automatic teller machines all across the area with brute force and quick timing.

The theft seen in the video player above happened over a week ago in Milford. The police tape remains as well as what’s left of the ATM, and it turns out it’s going to be months before they can get this back to normal.

The Milford Police Department pictures seen in the video player above show us the July 6 theft.

The ATM pulled over on its side and emptied the thieves in and out in under six minutes.

There’s rubber still on the ground Friday.

Community Choice Credit Union Marketing Director Jenny Ludwigsen told Local 4 that the thieves target so-called island machines.

“They want to get to the cash canisters, the dispensers, and it’s more difficult for machines built into walls or machines built into structures,” said Ludwigsen.

The thieves have hit four communities, getting at least $26,000 from successful Milford and Troy thefts.

They ran away empty-handed from the Royal Oak and Livonia attempts.

The video of the April Livonia attempt can be seen in the video player above.

A stolen heavy-duty pick-up backs up to the machine when one guy attaches hooks and chains, and they pulled the machine over.

In this case, the cash doors fell face down; The machine was too heavy to lift, so they quickly ran away to another getaway car.

Milford Police Detective Chris Lipari said late-night drivers should watch out for those guys seen in the video player above.

“And once they’re stolen, they are loading up the chains ahead of time at night. So if somebody sees a heavy-duty pick-up truck with chains hanging off the back driving around between midnight and two in the morning, they need to call the local police department and let them know right away,” said Lipari.

“We’re exposed to the supply chain issues just like everyone else when it comes to replacing these machines,” Ludwigsen said. “Right now, the lead time to get a machine that’s been destroyed back up and running is 60 to 90 days.”

One thing Local 4 knows is that this kind of theft is happening all across the country at both banks and credit unions and police aren’t certain whether this crew of robbers is local, but Local 4 is hearing there may be a suspect in the Troy case.


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.