RANCHO SANTA FE — A local market received an unscheduled pre-dawn facelift during a failed burglary attempt to steal its ATM machine, the store manager said Aug. 19.
Other than some cosmetic damage to the now nonoperational ATM, there is no evidence of the destruction caused by a Chevy Colorado pickup truck that was backed through the front windows of Stumps Village Market in Rancho Santa Fe during the early morning hours of Aug. 17.
After busting through the 120-square-foot glass wall, the thieves attached a moving strap to the ATM in an attempt to rip it from the market, Store Manager Matthew Basham said. He said the cash machine, which is secured by five bolts in eight inches of concrete, caused the strap to break.
Basham said he arrived at the store around 3:30 a.m. and believes the crime occurred approximately an hour earlier.
“A cigarette case was lying in the parking lot; cigarettes, glass and plants were everywhere,” Basham said of the scene. There was glass halfway down the aisles and scattered throughout the nearby produce, he said.
Basham, whose father-in-law owns the store, said he expects the damages to exceed $10,000. Prior to Stumps Village Market opening its doors nearly 15 years ago, Basham said the building, located in the 16000 block of Via de Santa Fe, housed another market, which dated back to the 1960s.
Patrick Galvin Sr., an 18-year resident of Rancho Santa Fe, said he was surprised to hear about the destructive break-in; however, he said he got an even bigger shock when he discovered the thieves used his son’s pickup truck, which had moving straps in it, to commit the crime.
The truck was discovered around 4 p.m. Aug. 17 in a dirt lot roughly a block from the market and Galvin’s residence. The vehicle had been left abandoned with a blown tire and the door open, Galvin said. Additionally, he said the bed of the pickup was filled with glass and the tailgate sustained damage.
Since the beginning of the year, Rancho Santa Fe has recorded six other business burglaries, Jeffrey Vandersip, a crime analyst with the Sheriff Department’s Encinitas substation, said. In August, there has been one other business burglarized within the community, he said.
Vandersip said he believes this is Rancho Santa Fe’s first ATM machine theft case since the beginning of 2008.
Because of the ongoing investigation, Sheriff’s Detective Lauren McAllister said she could not give out specific details about the case, including possible suspects or if there was any usable evidence from the market’s video security system.
Basham said a sheriff’s deputy told him there have been similar style burglaries from Del Mar all the way to Valley Center.
“He said, ‘It seems like it’s a sign of the times,”’ Basham said.
If you have any information regarding the burglary, call the San Diego Sheriff’s Department at (760) 966-3500.