Richland County deputies are searching for whoever stole an ATM machine in Northeast Richland County.
The Bank of America ATM was taken about 4:30 a.m. from a location at Hardscrabble Road and Lee Road.
"This is a heavy ATM, a stand-alone ATM machine that somebody would have had to have gone to great lengths to steal," explains Capt. Chris Cowan of the Richland County Sheriff's Department. "The whole ATM machine was stolen, so we believe a heavy piece of equipment, a heavy piece of machinery would have to be involved in that."
That's something that folks driving by the Bank of America might have taken notice of. Cowan is hoping that what they saw could help crack this unusual case.
"You would think it's early morning, there's not a lot of people there. But we know there's a lot of people going to and from work, they're starting their day," he says, "If somebody saw something suspicious, if they were driving by and they saw somebody they thought was working on the ATM machine in the middle of the night."
That could have also been the case at about the same time Sunday morning, as deputies say someone attempted to steal the ATM from the Wachovia on Farrow Road. In fact, just loading the damaged one onto the truck took the repair guys about 15 minutes. "It was heavily damaged, heavily vandalized," Cowan says. "We believe they were actually trying to steal the whole ATM machine."