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ATM stolen in smash-and-grab theft

A truck used to smash into a wall of a convenience store so suspects could steal an ATM was later found on fire behind a church.

The Brookhaven Police Department responded to a call at 5:01 a.m. Tuesday about an alarm at the C Store Exxon gas station on Hwy. 51 North near Union Street Extended Northeast.

When officers arrived, they found the building had been struck by a vehicle, and the ATM was missing, detective Clint Earls said.

Less than 45 minutes later, police received a call of a vehicle on fire behind the Jehovah’s Witness Kingdom Hall on Field Lark Lane. The truck they found matched the description of the vehicle used to smash into the C Store, Earls said.

Police were able to match the vehicle identification number and discovered that the truck had been stolen from Crystal Springs Monday.

Earls said the incident is still under investigation so he could not give more details.

“Currently, we’re going over evidence,” Earls said. “We don’t want the bad guys to know what we’ve got.”

The Lincoln and Copiah counties’ sheriff’s departments are also joining in the investigation.

Anyone with information about the burglary can call CrimeStoppers at 601-823-0150. Tips leading to an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000.

In August, an ATM was taken from the General Store on Hwy. 550 in a similar fashion.

Thieves rammed through a wall to steal an ATM, Lincoln County Sheriff Steve Rushing said. The vehicle used in the crime, as well as the empty ATM, were found about a mile away from the store.