Thieves crash SUV into store in Oakland to try to steal ATM

There was a damaged ATM outside an Oakland convenience store after what neighbors described as a brazen burglary.

The owner said it's the third time thieves have targeted the location and that each time, they have tried to steal the ATM inside the store

But this time, photos posted on social media showed thieves used an SUV to break into the store.

Neighbors said they're frustrated and they question the police response.

"A lot of glass. You can hear the glass shattering," said neighbor Carol Selak.

She and other neighbors said they were awakened by the burglary that took place about 4:15 a.m. Monday at the Quick Stop on the corner of Merritt and Brooklyn avenues, just steps from Lake Merritt.

Photos of the black SUV used by the thieves to deliberately crash into the store were posted on social media.

One neighbor named Julie who declined to give her last name reacted to the photos.

"Oh my God, it's in the whole store," the neighbor said. "How did it get pass the bars?"

Witnesses said the thieves moved the ATM outside the store. 

But the thief driving the SUV had difficulty backing it out of the store because of the red bollards out front. 

A second thief yelled out directions to try to help the driver.

"The guy standing on the side who was yelling," Selak said. "He was a big fella with a strong voice but totally covered so you wouldn't be able to identify them." 

Neighbors said the three burglars were still there when police arrived, but that they fled in a second vehicle.

"I was shocked that the police didn't follow," Selak said.  "What the heck? Why aren't the police following them?" 

Oakland police pursuit policy states that:vehicle pursuits may only be initiated when there is reasonable suspicion to believe the involved individuals committed a violent forcible crime, and/or a crime involving the use of a firearm, or if there is probable cause that the involved individual(s) is in possession of a firearm.

"I live right here. I'm really glad the store is right here. If I need something I can run out and get it and they keep getting robbed all the time," said Julie.

The store owner says during each of the three burglaries, thieves were not able to break into the ATM to get the cash. 
Neighbors said this latest burglary is unsettling.

"Listen, I'm a 55-year-old black man. I don't leave the house at night . You know what? I don't want to get jacked up," said Dwight Hawkins who lives nearby.

Neighbors said they're concerned that this type of crime will continue to happen since the thieves were at the store when police arrived
and they still got away.

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  Instagram @AmberKTVU  or Twitter @AmberKTVU