Masked burglars dismantled ATM but accidentally left behind the safe

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In the early morning hours of January 17th four masked men forced their way into the convenience store. (KFSN)

For 17 years the Friant Shell Gas Station has endured countless thefts and break-ins, but never have the crooks tried to reach this level of sophistication.

"Cigarettes, loose change, alcohol, the amount of money people keep in these ATMs, it makes sense," said employee Kyle Tronsgaard.

In the early morning hours of January 17th four masked men forced their way into the convenience store. This time, their eyes were on the big prize.

"Two of them go for the ATM machine, two go for the safe behind the counter, they are in and out in one minute," said Toni Botti.

Deputies say the men were well prepared. They came armed with power tools, a large trailer and were covered from head to toe, but even perfect plans can go wrong.

"It's kind of baffling why they didn't take the safe because you can see the effort they struggled to get it through the door," said Botti.

An employee, alerted by the alarm, found the store's safe lying in the middle of the parking lot.

Deputies think the suspects panicked and ran out of time. Tronsgaard is relieved the weight of their safe and ATM slowed the men down.

"The old one was bolted down, its 500 pounds, this new one is a lot more," said Tronsgaard.

The store has already made changes, replacing their old ATM with this machine, weighing over 800 pounds.

"If you're going to get in trouble, go big or go home I guess," said Tronsgaard.

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