Police: Failed ATM robbers leave behind cell phone, check stubs

In what seems like a classic case of dumb criminals, two men tried unsuccessfully to steal an ATM from a Massachusetts gas station before possibly leaving behind a cell phone and check stubs at the scene of the crime.

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Surveillance video at the Sunoco in Methuen shows a brown Honda CRV smash, in reverse, through the front window of the store shortly after 3 a.m. Saturday. Two men, disguised in masks and hoods, hop out of the vehicle and hurry inside. They attempt to secure a chain attached to the SUV onto the ATM.

When the clerk at the store, which is open 24 hours a day, intervenes, one of the would-be theives throws bottles of windshield washer fluid at him. The clerk backs off and calls 911.

Before police arrived, the pair took off.

"They attempted to flee with the vehicle ripping the ATM off the mount it was mounted on," Methuen Police Capt. Kristopher McCarthy said. "However, the chain disengaged, and they weren't able to get the ATM."

The door of the ATM was ripped off, but all the cash remained inside the machine, police said.

Methuen detectives found a cell phone near the entrance of the store, as well as "check stubs belonging to a male party out of Lawrence," according to the police report.

Investigators have not yet confirmed the items were in fact left behind by the pair, but they collected DNA samples from them.

"Hopefully we can use that evidence to track these guys down, and that's the mistake they made," McCarthy said.

The clerk reported there was no license plate on the brown Honda CRV.