Police are trying to determine the identities of five men who crashed a stolen van into the lobby of a DMV office early Thursday and stole two ATMs.
It happened just before 5 a.m. at the office at 4125 Welcome All Road. Security cameras captured the heist.
The video shows that as the van backs through the glass wall, it narrowly misses an armed security guard who was inside the lobby. She makes a split-second decision to run for backup, which might have been a wise choice, according to Chief Josh Waites of the Georgia Department of Revenue.
"Due to the close proximity of the van and the number of people - she was alone - the other guards were inside other parts of the building, so the best course of action for her was to kind of get behind cover and call 911," Waites said.
Once inside, three of the suspects went straight for two ATMs that were not bolted to the floor. They took them out a side door and loaded them into a second stolen vehicle, which was later found engulfed in flames with the ATMs inside. It's unclear if the men were able to pry open the ATMs before they torched them.
Authorities said they are hoping to reopen the office on Friday.
Chief Josh Waites with the Department of Revenue could not say how much was inside the ATMs at the time they were taken, but did say they were not secured to the floor. The ATMs were owned by a third party.
The DMV branch was closed Thursday for cleanup and repairs. Waites was hopeful they could have it reopened by Friday since it is the only location in Atlanta where one can obtain an instant title.
"We have hundreds of people a day that can come in here and get titles processed, it's very important for revenue," said Waites.
Waites also said that even though the security guard seen in the video was armed with a gun, she did the right thing by running to a safer location after the van crashed through the wall.
"She was alone, the other guards were inside other parts of the building; so the best course of action for her was to kind of get behind cover and call 911," said Waites.
According to Waites, East Point police were on the scene in less than four minutes. He says the thieves were in and out of the building, with the ATMs, in less than three minutes.
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