A crew of burglars smashed a stolen car into two Mobile convenience stores Tuesday, taking an ATM from one store and attempted to steal an ATM from the other, police said.
The crimes were similar to one earlier this month in which burglars drove a stolen truck through a store's front doors and made off with an ATM.
Officer Christopher Levy, a police spokesman, said detectives were looking at the possibility that the Tuesday cases and the earlier case were connected.
On Tuesday, shortly after midnight, Levy said, three men in a white Chevrolet Caprice crashed through the doors of the GB Southern Oil gas station at Cottage Hill and Leroy Stevens roads.
They tried to get money out of the ATM and the register, but both had been emptied by employees, Levy said.
Dennis Braswell, co-owner of the station, told the Press-Register that based on his viewing of the store's surveillance, he believed the burglars' main objective was the ATM, because all three men went straight to it.
He said the machine is bolted to the floor, and the men could not move it. Braswell added that the surveillance indicated one man was gesturing to leave when the other two decided to go after the cash drawer in the register.
"They grabbed the box and ran out of the store, but I guess they were disappointed when they opened it later and found out we had emptied it for the night," he said.
About 30 minutes later, the same car barreled through the doors of another gas station, a Chevron at Cottage Hill and Hillcrest roads, Levy said.
This time, the men were able to load the entire ATM into the car and drive off.
Prichard police later found the burned-out shell of the Caprice.