METAIRIE - The Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office is working to catch what it's calling an organized group of ATM bandits who use trucks to do their damage. Deputies believe the group is responsible for at least four 'smash and grab' ATM burglaries in Metaire and New Orleans. What's more, they say this group is experienced.
The owner's of the Fast Stop Convenience Store on South Broad are trying to get back to business Tuesday after they fell victims to the group during the early morning.
"The truck tried to go six times through the doors so they can get the ATM out," owner Mohammad Zahra said.
Eventually the group was successful, throwing the ATM in a separate van waiting next to the store. The men got anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000 from the ATM and caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the store.
"We're talking almost 35 to 40 grand," Zahra said.
Detectives think the group is responsible for at least three other 'smash and grab' burglaries, another in New Orleans and two at separate Brother's Food Marts in Metaire. Detectives say the men knew how to crash into the food mart, grab the ATM and then leave quickly. Detectives think the men are part of a bigger organization.
"They knew what they were doing, they knew they needed a big enough vehicle to knock the ATM off the foundation so it wasn't one or two individuals trying to do this," Chief Deputy Joseph LoPinto said. "They were a little more organized."
Deputies are working with New Orleans Police to catch all members of the group. So far they've arrested D-Andre Johnson and Treyvon McDonald, both from Houston. With four break-ins this month, deputies want to catch the rest of the people seen in the surveillance video before they cause even more harm, but for the Fast Stop Convenience Store, it's already too late.
"We can't do nothing about it now," Zahra said. "It's gone."
Deputies ask if anyone has information about the group to call Crimestoppers.