Maintenance vehicle prepares to leave KC Smoke Shop after boarding up window and broken wall. Burglars used a tow truck to smash entrance into the building. Photo by Danna Webster, KP News

Early in the morning of July 11, unknown persons broke out a window at the KP Smoke Shop in Key Center. Pierce County Sheriff deputies confirm that the ATM was taken.

The business owner prefers not to comment on this burglary, but reports that the surveillance video shows a chain dragging the ATM machine out of the building.

According to an eyewitness report the suspect(s) used a tow truck to gain entrance to the store. An eyewitness reported that “a white tow truck was pulled up to the business. She heard the alarms of the business going off and saw a person dressed all in black with a ski mask inside the business.” As the eyewitness left the scene, she called 911.

“Upon my arrival (3:32 a.m.), I noticed the door was ripped out and a wall of the business was also torn away,” Officer William Burks wrote in his official report. His investigation was assisted by the local fire department and the Law Enforcement Support Agency (LESA). Fire District 16 secured the building.  LESA provides records management and information technology for several towns and cities in Pierce County.  Surveillance cameras inside and outside of the business are also assisting the investigation.

Half an hour later the same morning, the smoke shop in Purdy suffered the same fate, losing an ATM and some merchandise. Pierce County Sheriff deputies indicated a stolen vehicle was involved. A few days later, it was alleged that the same vehicle smashed into a convenience store in Aberdeen and two masked individuals carried off that ATM along with cigarettes. That vehicle was stolen from Klaloch and was found abandoned in the Quinault area. To see the surveillance video from the Grays Harbor County burglary, go to  http://www.kirotv.com/news/24290840/detail.html.

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