News 12 at 6 o' clock/ Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Deputies need your help finding the criminals responsible for a string of drive-in burglaries, but we're not talking fast food.
We are talking about a truck smashing into businesses around town and stealing everything from cigarettes to ATM's.
Investigators believe the same three or four guys are behind all three smash ups, all within a couple of days apart.
In surveillance video, a stolen Ford truck smashes through the doors of a Citgo on Mike Padgett Highway. A hooded man then tosses a cash register to the floor and grabs several packs of cigarettes.
The owner got the call from deputies around 2 a.m. He says it was pure chaos when he showed up.
"It's like some kind of hurricane went through," Kihwan Kim, the owner says.
The video shows the driver trying to rev up the engine enough to smash through the other side of the store, but he eventually gives up and backs out the way he came. Then you see the hooded character come back inside to try to knock over the ATM, but it was bolted to the floor.
For all the damage caused, the crooks get away with about 12 packs of cigarettes.
Kim says, "I've been running this business 25 years and never had this kind of experience."
Investigators believe the burglars then drove a couple of blocks and smashed into the Rack and Grill Bar. They apparently tried to get money out of an ATM there as well, got the truck stuck inside, and then ran away.
Four nights later, on January 30th, investigators believe the criminals stole another truck.
Martha Brown says, "The truck was parked under the carport and was facing the road because it had some firewood in it, and when I woke up Thursday morning, it was gone."
An investigator told her thieves used her truck to smash through the Manna Mart.
She said, "I thought it was like a modern day bank robbery."
She saw the little bit of surveillance video that was caught on camera and knew it was her truck.
"I saw the firewood in the bed of the truck, and I knew that it was mine."
Now, all of the victims are hoping the thieves are caught fast, before this happens again.
Investigators are looking for a 1987 model Ford pick-up truck that is red and white in color with a chrome back bumper.
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