Thief steals ATM from veterans post

by: Alison Grande Updated:

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TACOMA, Wash. - Police arrested a man who they say stole an ATM from the American Veterans Post 1 in Tacoma.

The theft happened Jan. 9.  Police tracked down the suspect who was caught on camera.

Prosecutors say 37-year-old Scott Allan Thornton walked into the American Veterans Post 1 on South Tyler Street and stole the ATM which was packed with cash.

Chuck Wharton, the commander at AmVets Post 1, said he was sick when he found out about the theft.

"The people we give money to are already suffering from the service to our country," said Wharton.

As for the suspect, "He's at the bottom of the food chain, the very bottom," added Wharton.

According to the video, the man borrowed the dolly from the bar, loaded up the heavy ATM, and wheeled it out to his car.

He had trouble trying to fit the nearly 200-pound machine inside of the sedan. An employee confronted Thornton and he drove off, with the back door open and the ATM hanging out. The theft happend around 1 p.m., while dozens of people were playing bingo downstairs.

Investigators say Thornton was able to break into the safe and steal $2,640.  Police found the car abandoned in an alley and say the ATM was dumped in a recycling bin.  Detectives say they tracked down Thornton by the car he used.

Thornton has an extensive criminal background with a number of convictions for theft and burglary.

He is locked up in the Pierce County Jail, his bail is set at $20,000. Wharton hopes Thornton stays locked up.

“They caught this one, it’s a good feeling for us,” said Wharton.