Group arrested after allegedly trying to smash open North Side ATM

At least four people are in custody facing criminal charges in connection with the attempted burglary of an ATM on the city’s North Side Friday morning.

San Antonio police tracked down the suspects as they allegedly tried to run from the scene of the crime in the 5200 block of Blanco Road.

Police say they caught up with some of them in a car in the middle of a nearby neighborhood, on Oak Place.

They say the group had used a stolen truck with a chain attached to try to either rip the housing off the money machine, or take the entire machine off its perch.

A sturdy metal bar, apparently installed by the bank that owns the ATM, may have acted to slow down the crime.

Police say a passerby also noticed them around 4 a.m. and called 911.

“I was shocked because, I mean, who would’ve thought that they were using (the truck) for this purpose,” said Gracie Castillo, whose husband owns the stolen truck.

Castillo showed up later to retrieve the recovered vehicle.

She said she had noticed it missing from their driveway across town early Wednesday morning and reported it stolen.

Early Friday, she got a call from police, telling her the truck had been found.

She says she was surprised to find it had only minor damages.

The ATM didn’t fare as well.

It was left with big cracks. The electronic screen also had been changed to tell customers the machine was not working.

Police say it did not appear the suspects were able to open it or get any cash from it.

They say detectives are looking into whether the group may have struck before.

READ MORE: Drag marks on ground lead police to ATM stolen from North Side bank

According to a sergeant on scene, they are specifically looking at a crime that KSAT 12 News covered in April.

At that time, a group of people had managed to remove an ATM from its perch near Thousand Oaks and Jones-Maltsberger Road.

They dragged it across a parking lot, then abandoned it outside a 99 Cents Only Store store.

Police said at that time that they had detained the driver of a truck related to that crime as a “person of interest.”

However, they did not make any other arrests in that case.