York Co. convenience store hit in tri-county ATM smash and grab ring

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) - A Lake Wylie convenience store is the latest targeted in a string of ATM smash and grabs.

Plywood now covers what used to be the front doors of the Lake Wylie Mini-Mart in York County.

"Makes you, sometime, want to give up," said Lake Wylie Mini Mart owner Victor Boulware.

Boulware's store was the latest hit in a rash of ATM smash and grabs. He says costing him around $43,000 in damage and $6,000 stolen from his ATM.

"You got a lot of people who work hard, they bust their tail and try to have something honest and then you have people come in your business and disturb you and take what you worked hard for," said Boulware.

Within the past two weeks, police believe the same thieves have struck at several stores in 3 counties, including three in Gaston, two in Cleveland and the latest in York County.

WBTV obtained surveillance video from one of the burglaries as thieves tried to steal an ATM from a Belmont convenience store.

They ripped the front door off its hinges, but the crooks didn't get the cash at this specific ATM.

The six other store owners weren't as fortunate.

Gaston County Police say the thieves steal either a church or commercial van, take the ATM then dump both in a rural part of the county.

"It's a fairly easy target and it could be that they've done this before or it's a copy cat type crime where they've seen someone else do it," said Gaston County Police Department Sgt. Stephen Dover.

WBTV obtained pictures of the dumped van from the York County job. The pictures show how the car's starter has been punched out.

Police don't have a good description of the suspects, but they hope the video can shed some light.

"I never let people's destruction tear me down. I'm always moving forward," said Boulware.

Boulware won't let Thursday's crime discourage him, but he hopes the ATM crashers don't come back.

All of these crimes happened in the early morning hours, police say you can help by being vigilant if you're out at those times.

If you have information in any of these cases you are asked to call Gaston or York County Crimestoppers.

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