In a scenario that sounds like it came right out of a Trailer Park Boys episode ('cause it did), three suspects used a pick-up truck to ram through the the doors of a strip club that doubles as a church in Guelph, Ontario—The Manor—in a failed attempt to steal an ATM. When cops arrived after being called just before 7 AM today, they witnessed the truck pulling the ATM by a chain on the snow-covered ground down a street beside the club.
Sam Cohen, the general manager of The Manor, told VICE that the incompetent thieves did approximately $100,000 in damage.
"It didn't go their way, they spent all that time planning and trying to get it out, it took them 10 times longer than they probably thought it would," Cohen said. "They pull out the chain, and they're literally dragging [the ATM] like a sled down the street... in the end, they have to pull away so fast that they lose the ATM."
Cohen described what he saw on the club's surveillance tape, which has now been handed over to police for the investigation.
"There were men entering the club through one door, they scope out the ATM, they come through the front door, they wrap the ATM with some chain," he said. "It took them a while to get it out because they were having some difficulty." Then, he said, the ATM fell down some stairs, and they had to chain it back up. They then proceeded to attach the chain to the end of the truck through the front door, and "ripped it through the wall."
The Manor itself is a known fixture in the community. It was the previous home of Canadian beer mogul George Sleeman; the family who owns it was the subject of a 2013 feature-length, award-winning documentary, The Manor; and its Sunday church service was attended by VICE (see: the author of this article).
Though the attempted thieves chose a strange time to try to steal the ATM—in the early morning on a weekday—Cohen suspects it's because they probably assumed most people in the building were asleep at that time (the building also serves as a residence). However, he said this assumption wasn't true, referencing the fact that a cleaner became aware of the situation and that some of their tenants who live across the street saw the truck and called police.
Cops followed the truck for several blocks, at which point the ATM broke loose and the thieves were forced to make the decision to leave it behind and pull away. The truck, a dark-coloured, four-door Ford F-150, was last seen heading toward Cambridge, Ontario. There is no description of suspects available at this time.
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