SAN JOSE (KRON) — It took all of ten minutes.
As guests were arriving at San Jose’s busy Children’s Discovery Museum on Saturday, a man walked into the lobby pushing a hand-truck and told the people at the front desk he was there to service the ATM machine.
He looked the part, according to San Jose Officer Gina Tepoorten.
“The suspect walks into the discovery museum and tells employees he’s a technician for the ATM company,” Tepoorten said. “He looks official and had a dolly and a clipboard and went over to the ATM machine. Ten minutes later, he walked out with it.”
The theft went noticed until the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office called on Wednesday to say that a deputy had discovered the ATM.
The ATM was standing just off Highway 101 with its cash box removed near the red barn, south of Gilroy.
Evidently too heavy to man-handle solo, police say the thief enlisted some museum patrons to lend a hand.
“The suspect got out to his truck and wasn’t able to lift it up so he asked some people who were arriving to help him load the machine up,” Tepoorten said. “They didn’t know who he was, they just thought they were being good citizens helping him out.”
Police said the real ATM technicians had been by earlier in the week.
The museum management said security is focused on visitors not machines but some patrons were troubled by what happened nonetheless.
“I think this is a place where families come and feel safe and it feels like a violation,” Museum patron Sarah Martinez said. “This is a really fun place and it’s a shame that this happened.”