(WBIR- Oak Ridge) The Oak Ridge Police Department said officers are trying to track down thieves who attempted to haul off an ATM using a stolen bobcat on Christmas.
Drivers who pulled up to the Y-12 Federal Credit Union ATM on Oak Ridge Turnpike seemed to have the same reaction when they realized there was no money in the machine.
"Oh my God, what happened to the ATM?," asked Maria Blaylock, who lives in Oak Ridge.
"They must have been watching too much Grand Theft Auto, setting up a heist or something," said David Tilley, a Clinton resident.
"There's really no explanation for it, it's kind of ridiculous," said Jonathan Pettit, who works in Oak Ridge.
Drivers agreed the thieves' efforts were creative.
According to Oak Ridge police, the suspects first stole a truck from Waste Connections, which is just across a field from the ATM. Officers said the crooks failed to knock the ATM off the concrete, so they went back to Waste Connections and instead stole a bobcat.
"A-plus for effort," said Tilley.
ORPD said the suspects hooked the ATM to the bobcat and managed to haul it off into the grass. But, pictures taken by OakRidgeToday.com show the bobcat was flipped on its side Christmas morning. The attempt failed, and the suspects ended up demolishing the ATM and taking off without any cash.
"It just amazes me, I mean what people try to do to get away with something like that. It's unbelievable," said Blaylock.
ORPD said the damage to the truck, bobcat, and ATM added up to a whopping $50,000.
"I think it's crazy, like I said, that someone would do this on Christmas. It's kind of selfish. I think, I mean, it's supposed to be the day we give things," said Pettit.
Thursday, the debris was mostly cleared away. There were wires laying on the cracked concrete, some small pieces of the ATM lying in the grass, and tracks from the bobcat and truck etched in the mud.
ORPD said officers had not yet identified the suspects. Anyone with information was asked to call 865-425-4399.
"I just wish that they would turn themselves in, honestly. I mean you didn't get anything from it, all you did was cause a bunch of other people problems," said Pettit.