Thieves dressed as technicians steal ATM from children’s museum, police say

AROMAS, Calif. (KION/CNN) – An ATM stolen from a California children’s museum over the weekend was found abandoned off a highway Wednesday morning.

The ATM was completely busted open and the container presumably holding thousands of dollars in cash was left empty. A deputy with the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office found the machine on the side of Highway 101 in Aromas.

There was no suspect in sight, but the deputy did some digging and found a number inside the ATM that led to the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose, which reported the ATM as stolen.

Marilee Jennings, the executive director of the museum, said the ATM was taken on Saturday near the museum entrance.

"It's the lobby area, so it's when people are entering the museum, the lockers are there where you store your jackets and bags and all of that,” she said. “Many, many people park their strollers in that area so that they don't need to take them around the museum."

The San Jose Police Department said the suspects were disguised as service technicians as they swiftly put the ATM on a dolly and rolled it out of the museum – which wouldn’t have seemed fishy when it was happening.

"The ATM company had been here the day before working on the machine,” Jennings said. “We serve 400,000 visitors a year. There's just a lot of activity."

The robbers haven’t been identified yet, but law enforcement said these types of ATM thefts are common.

"It's just plugged in. There's an ethernet cable plugged into the wall so it can communicate,” said Capt. John Thornburg of the Monterey County Sheriff's Office.

The investigation into the theft is ongoing.

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