Three masked men wrapped a chain around an ATM and were using the backhoe to yank the machine off the bank's external wall when police arrived.
Police have released images from a Bank of America surveillance camera showing two or three masked burglars making a brazen attempt to steal an ATM with a backhoe that left the Potomac, Md., bank branch damaged The burglars tried to steal the ATM from the bank of America on River Road in Potomac Village just before 2 a.m. Tuesday.
Just before 2 a.m., a sensor inside the bank in a Bank of America branch at Falls and River roads in Potomac alerted police that there was a problem in the branch.
When police arrived, they found three people wearing masks and gloves inside the backhoe, reported News4's Megan McGrath. The burglars had wrapped a chain around the ATM and were using the backhoe to yank the machine off the bank's external wall.
The burglars fled -- without the ATM -- but the damage to the bank was already done, including damage to an awning that was pulled down during the attempt. Construction crews had to cut away some of the debris Tuesday.
Police say they believe both the backhoe and a pickup truck being used by the burglars were stolen.
"We don't believe they took anything," said Capt. Paul Starks of Montgomery County Police. "We classify this as an attempted theft and we're working with Bank of America and their surveillance photos working right now trying to close this."
People in Potomac Village marveled at the boldness of the attempt.
"I just came in to do some banking and when I pulled in to go to the ATM I found out something was going on," said customer Richard Lyles. "I didn't know. It's bold. Someone's very bold to do something like that."
The investigation is on-going.