Bandits break through roof to raid gas station ATM in Chestnut Hill

Gray Hall Image
Friday, July 19, 2019
Bandits break through roof to raid gas station ATM in Chestnut Hill
Bandits break through roof to raid gas station ATM in Chestnut Hill. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on July 19, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are asking for the public's help to track down a rooftop bandit.

Residents in Chestnut Hill are reacting to a piece of jaw-dropping video. A criminal is caught on camera breaking through the roof of a shell gas station along the 8000 block Germantown Avenue. Once inside, it's clear he's after one thing, the ATM.

"They used some sort of tool. We saw him with a crowbar, got into the roof scaled down to the floor, went over to MAC Machine and spent what looked like an eternity trying to get into the MAC machine with a crowbar or some other wedging instrument," said Captain Sekou Kinebrew with the Philadelphia Police Department.

Surveillance cameras captured the crook struggling to pry open the money machine Wednesday around midnight when the store was closed. Police say eventually the burglar was successful and got away with over 8-thousand dollars. Employee, Allassane Dao, saw the destruction the next morning.

"Completely shocked I couldn't even move because I couldn't believe that this could happen, especially in Chestnut Hill," Dao said.

Dao believes the thief used crates in the back of the store to get on top of the roof.

He says the masked criminal had no regard for cameras around the building and was just focused on getting to the cash.

"I think they are professionals and they may have been here before," Dao said.

As wild as this may look, police say it's not a first.

"I would not say it's the most common means of burglary but we have seen it before. People use that as the way to get in. I guess if they look around and they see the doors are fortified and the windows are fortified, I guess they check the next entry point," said Kinebrew.

Residents and employees are still scratching their heads about the bold crime and hoping police will make an arrest.

"I still am shocked because it makes me scared," said Dao.

"He knew what he was doing. I mean he had boots on. I mean he had boots on so he could protect his feet. I mean he thought this thing through," said resident Lorise Ban of Chestnut Hill.

Police believe the burglar had had an accomplice. If you have any information, contact Philadelphia Police at 215-686-TIPS (8477).