A South Bay ATM was targeted by thieves on March 4. Workers arrived at 5:24 a.m. at La Bella's Pizza Garden (located at 373 Third Avenue in downtown Chula Vista) and found that the restaurant had been burglarized.
Two thieves wearing masks and gloves entered through the business' rear door, which they pried open. They unbolted the ATM machine from the floor inside, according to the Chula Vista Police Department. Surveillance video showed the suspects getting away with part of the ATM machine in a full-sized pick-up truck with a rear dual axle.
The getaway truck, a dark red Ford FX4 Off Road, was recovered this afternoon in South San Diego; the owner reported it stolen from Bonita this morning. The suspects are still at large.
The theft comes on the heels of a series of ATM thefts throughout San Diego County. Last month, two pre-dawn robberies took place in the South Bay within days of one another. On February 15, four thieves in a gray Tundra attempted to remove an ATM at the Vons on Telegraph Canyon Road in Chula Vista. Three days later, National City police said thieves removed an ATM from within Plaza Bonita shopping mall. Their escape was thwarted in the parking lot by security, as the thieves dragged the machine that was chained to their vehicle.
La Bella's owners did not wish to comment on the crime, but said they believe the culprits will be caught soon due to the surveillance evidence. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Chula Vista Police Department at 619-691-5151.