An expert on ATM security is warning businesses after two stores were hit by smash and grab burglars overnight.
Those two east side Cleveland businesses are open and cleaning up the mess. Construction crews spent the day patching up gaping holes both at the Church Square Pharmacy near Euclid Avenue and East 79th Street in Cleveland, and at Angela Mia Pizza at Euclid Avenue and East 155th Street in East Cleveland.
Church Square Pharmacy at E.79th/Euclid is OPEN even w/ missing storefront. ATM stolen in smash and grab overnight pic.twitter.com/QlyjqZ5awE
— Derick Waller WEWS (@derickwallerTV) March 1, 2016
In both crimes, someone backed a minivan into the front of the store in an attempt to steal the ATM that was located just inside. Crooks got away with the machine at Church Square Pharmacy, but multiple attempts to do so at Angela Mia were unsuccessful.
Those are similar to a string of smash and grab-style burglaries across Cuyahoga County in recent months. In January, county prosecutors hoped they had put a stop to them with the arrest of three men while they were allegedly breaking into a Superior Avenue Rite Aid store.
Nicholas Billett, ATM security director at North Canton-based Diebold, said these types of thefts are usually part of a larger organized crime. Billett said the targets are usually easy to spot.
“The issue really is the risk around the site itself, so if you’re going to put an ATM in the front of the store, near a glass window, depend on the physical barriers of the building itself, that would be considered to be a fairly high risk deployment,” Billett said.
“Moving the machine to the back of the store, anchoring the machine in some cases, picking a different type of machine,” Billett said, “Those are all ways we can improve the security of the site."
Police in Cleveland and East Cleveland have not said if the crimes are connected or announced any possible suspects.
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