INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — At least three Kansas City metro police agencies are investigating a string of ATM thefts at Jackson County businesses.

In at least two of them, video from security cameras shows criminals breaking into stores and stealing loaded cash machines. Police believe these cases could be related.

In Independence, the sound of broken glass and burglar alarms pierced the silence early Friday morning. Cameras at the Conoco gas station on E. U.S. Highway 40 showed three masked men shattering the store’s front windows.

Video also shows them pulling the store’s ATM through the broken window and loading it into their car. The store’s owner, Shamail Mian, said the machine was loaded with $18,000 in cash.

Not far from there, Blue Springs Police are working a similar case from last Tuesday morning. Cameras from that location recorded as three guys wearing dark hoods broke into the Liquor Houzz location on Woods Chapel Road.

The three men could be seen dragging the cash machine to their waiting car.

“I was shocked. We’ve never experienced this kind of thing before,” Mazzi Riaz, one of the store’s owners, said.

Riaz has operated his three liquor stores for less than a year. He’s already replaced the broken window at the Blue Springs store, where the theft took place. Now, he has to replace the cash machine too. Blue Springs detectives were at the store on Monday.

“We work hard for this. We work day and night to build this place, me and my partner, so this is frustrating to see this happen,” Riaz said.

In a third case, police in Grandview told FOX4 their officers investigated a stolen ATM from a nightclub two weeks ago.

Independence Police Ofc. Jack Taylor recommends business owners secure their ATMs to a wall or the floor, and investing in good security cameras is a good idea, too.

Taylor said this type of theft would likely carry a felony charge.

“If you have a business, it’s not just having the video. It’s having quality video that we can pull details from and that we can see. We’ve got pictures we can look at and we can identify people from,” Taylor commented.

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