Fumbling burglars caught on camera

Fumbling burglars caught on camera

PALO CEDRO, Calif. - It's just after five Easter morning at the Kaybee Gas and Liquor Food Mart in Palo Cedro.

Instead of looking for Easter eggs, two masked men in dark clothes are looking for some quick cash, targeting an ATM in the middle of the convenience store.

After breaking the front doors, one thief ties a tow rope around the machine and attaches it to a stolen U-Haul waiting outside.

But instead of a quick getaway, the U-Haul slides out as the thieves try to remove the bolted down ATM.

In the process the tow rope snaps.

Moments later, the thieves return and try to get rich again.

This time, they try the old fashioned way by shaking the machine.

But after a few good shakes they realize their plan clearly isn't working and take off, but not empty handed.

They grab a few cartons of Marlboro cigarettes, but still manage to drop one on the way out.

"Now it's funny but not that morning," Manager Ed Kaplan said Friday.

Weeks later, with the doors to his store fixed, Kaplan can chuckle about the debacle.

"I've never seen anything like it except in the movies," he said.

But after spending nearly $3,000 in repairs, Kaplan is still frustrated and surprised this happened, "it threw us off because we're in Palo Cedro and no one expects that in Palo Cedro."

An "out of service" sign is now taped on the ATM.

"It no longer works. We're talking about taking it out so it doesn't happen again," Kaplan explained.

The suspects are tough to recognize in the surveillance video.

Both were wearing black sweatshirts and jackets at the time of the burglary as well as black masks covering their faces.

But as they were leaving, one man's mask drops a bit, revealing a small part of his face. It could be a clue to identifying these fumbling bandits.

If you have information, contact the Shasta County Sheriff's Office.

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