By Cristina Mendez

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A driver used a van to smash through a gas station to steal an ATM machine Saturday morning, Baltimore Police confirm.

Surveillance video obtained by WJZ shows the driver pulling into the BP gas station on Reisterstown Road just after 5:15 a.m. The driver backed into the storefront repeatedly until breaking through the glass.

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Two men standing near the front of the store are then captured walking inside, picking up the ATM machine and loading it into the van. The crime happened in under two minutes, the security camera timestamp revealed.

“Extremely scary because like I’ve said, we’ve seen it on the news happening and there’s nothing to prepare you for when it happens to you,” said store manager Hiwot Goitom.

Goitom said she is in contact with police and local leaders in hopes of working together to create better protection for businesses that offer ATM services to customers.

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“Is there more help that needs to be done? How do we get control of this highly organized crime that’s affecting multiple stations in the area?” asked Goitom. “In order to take back our community, to make our customers safe, we can’t offer services to our customers that they need because of acts like this.”

Previously, police have given business owners some suggestions on proactive ways to protect their machines. This includes using bigger bolts to secure the ATM, putting barricades at the front of the stores and moving the machines farther inside to make it more difficult for thieves to carry the machine to a getaway car.

In this most recent case in a string of ATM thefts around Baltimore city and county, police have not released a description of the suspects. The tag on the van is also unknown.

Baltimore Police are reviewing the footage from the store. If you recognize the van, the suspects or have any information regarding this incident, contact their agency.

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Cristina Mendez