WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Junction Chase drive-up ATM stolen

(WSB photos)

8:58 AM: Don’t bother trying to go to the Chase drive-up ATM at Edmunds/44th in The Junction – our photo shows what you’ll find. A texter said the ATM was taken before 6 am and that a forklift was still at the scene then (we checked with TrueValue across the street and they told us it wasn’t theirs). We are working right now to find out more from police.

9:16 AM: We couldn’t find officers in the area, though two SPD vehicles were nearby, so we went to the Southwest Precinct to ask. The desk officer told us the theft happened around 3:30 am and confirmed a forklift was left at the scene and has since been impounded; no other details yet because everyone working the case is still out. This is the second such theft in The Junction in less than a year, after the US Bank ATM heist a block away last January, also early on a Sunday morning. (added) And it’s the third in West Seattle in a year and a half, after an ATM was stolen from South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) in May 2016 and turned up in an Arbor Heights yard.

ADDED MONDAY AFTERNOON: No new information available from police yet. But we asked a regional spokesperson for Chase whether/when the ATM would be replaced; she said plans are already in the works and that it would be “later this month.”

50 Replies to "WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Junction Chase drive-up ATM stolen"

  • flimflam October 8, 2017 (9:02 am)

    i’d say when we are at the point that someone could rip an ATM out of place and steal it with a forklift undetected we may need some more police, maybe.

    • orcmid October 8, 2017 (9:20 am)

      It strikes me that, for an exposed ATM like that, it might be more appropriate to have a silent, internal-battery cellular alarm and GPS.  Also, severing of power to the unit could be alarmed.

      Interesting trade-off versus having a watchman at the bank.

    • AMD October 8, 2017 (10:40 am)

      Someone stole a totem pole with the help of the police if I recall correctly (a passing officer helped direct traffic around the crane because everyone thought it was a legitimate operation).

      I feel like maybe preventative measures would go further than having police on every corner 24/7.  If it can be stolen with a forklift, perhaps it should be secured better (forklifts are not as all-powerful as people give them credit for).  

  • ttt October 8, 2017 (9:11 am)

    I tried to get cash from that one Friday and it said it had no cash to dispense. unless it was refilled with cash saturday, the theives got no cash. Didn’t that same thing happen to us bank last year and the cops found the atm in someone’s backyard in arbor heights? 

  • Rick October 8, 2017 (9:16 am)

    Didn’t this happen to US Bank awhile back?  Aaahh, for the good ‘ole days when all ya needed was a crowbar.

    • WSB October 8, 2017 (9:22 am)

      Our first update includes the link to the US Bank followup from January, after we confirmed two suspects had been arrested in that case.

  • David French October 8, 2017 (9:32 am)

    No sympathy 

  • Gabrielle James October 8, 2017 (9:34 am)

    Wow. For the amount of effort these people used to steal, they could have done some labor jobs for us and probably made same amount of money! So annoying! Feel bad for the employees that now have to deal with this getting repaired. Ugh. 

    • Seattlite October 8, 2017 (10:22 am)

      I don’t think you would want these types or criminals around any job site for fear of what they might do.

    • P October 8, 2017 (4:14 pm)

      Not that I am justifying what they did but ATM’s can hold over 20k in cash.

      Doubt a few hours at a labor job would yield the same results… also it wouldn’t be employees fixing this ( i.e. tellers and bankers) but Chase would be the one’s paying their internal guys or contracting out to replace it.

      It’s a stupid crime for a stupid criminal, especially since ATMs are extremely hard to break in to.

  • DK October 8, 2017 (9:38 am)

    I literally lol’d when you said you called true value!

    • WSB October 8, 2017 (9:51 am)

      Patrick actually just walked across the street to ask them after we’d photographed the theft aftermath. We did that because the forklift used in the January theft from US Bank a block east had been stolen from JTV, so we figured we might as well ask. – TR

  • Elly October 8, 2017 (9:53 am)

    How much is a forklift worth compared with the max amount they could have gotten?

    • P October 8, 2017 (4:15 pm)

      They would have been better off selling the forklift haha.

      They stole the ATM but i doubt they can get in to it.

  • Jill October 8, 2017 (10:16 am)

    Amazing. I agree with Flimflam and Orchid. More security, more policing. This is pretty brazen, even at 3:30 in the morning.

    • Erithan - frustrated October 8, 2017 (11:19 am)

      I can’t tell if the cops are told to ignore,or they just don’t care in this area

      Issues on going and worsening in junction plaza park for example(literally watched a cop after a call pull up near the guys, sit in car 2 min, leave, had to call again when they got worse later…), where there are guys who are constantly intimidating/approaching people/leaving drug paraphernalia/drinking…day and night…and are propping our building door open…or damaging it in attempts to get in when it is closed…so sick of this…

      why is is so hard to have even one person patrolling in the junction here?(not that they don’t get tons of calls and evidence from the stores and people living here…) *sigh* 

      • momof3boys October 9, 2017 (12:52 pm)

        Possibly the officer had stopped to observe behavior – but when no illegal behavior was seen – they drove on.  It’s hard to armchair quarterback SPD.  Until you’ve lived a day in their boots.  Our whole judicial system should bear much of the blame.  Here in the comments section, there is certainly enough to go around.  

  • 64Ford October 8, 2017 (10:26 am)

    I see a camera in the picture – hopefully it actually works and they can get a good shot of these people .

  • Mark October 8, 2017 (10:27 am)

    How in the world did this happen and no one saw it?  Hopefully Chase has a video.  Very brazen, I hope they catch the thieves (I presume more than one person).  

  • Christine October 8, 2017 (10:39 am)

    I remember someone smashed into the Rite Aid (California, South of the Junction) last year to try and steal the ATM.  I can’t find an article, unfortunately.

  • Mike October 8, 2017 (11:09 am)

    There’s a security camera just feet above where the ATM was.  You can see the camera in the photo of the busted up ATM location.  There’s very little to no chance this was not caught on camera.  The comment above about the ATM probably not having cash in it could be true and the fork lift is probably worth more than what cash the ATM even would have had.  What type of personal data is on the hard drives in those ATM’s?  Are the hard drives encrypted?  If there’s personal data on the drives in those ATM’s, anyone who’s used that ATM needs to get in touch with Chase bank and find out how much of their personal data is compromised.

    • cjboffoli October 8, 2017 (2:22 pm)

      MIKE:  As I understand it there likely would be no hard drives or other personal information (including PINs) stored within the ATM itself. Just an encrypted connection to a remote server.

    • Swede. October 8, 2017 (11:28 pm)

      All your personal data is already available online thanks to Equifax, and then some…

      And persons that do actually work like this to get cash probably isn’t so computer say to use the Equifax data. 

  • MercyMoi October 8, 2017 (11:44 am)

    I didn’t hear this occur but I did hear the police speaking through a megaphone/speaker device to someone nearby around 5:15 or 5:30am. Three police vehicles were in the pay parking lot, but this is a normal sight three or four mornings a week (camped out, that is).

  • Joan October 8, 2017 (12:05 pm)

    I think it’s time for banks to remove these outdoors ATMs and just have the in-wall ones, You can still drive up to them at many banks. 

  • KrazzieK October 8, 2017 (12:52 pm)


  • justme October 8, 2017 (1:35 pm)

    That darn Breaking Bad!

  • South Delridge observer October 8, 2017 (2:07 pm)

    What a stupid crime. I bet police have everything they need with forklift and security camera footage. I figure some punks got wasted and decided they were smarter than the two ATM thieves in Barbershop movie. 

  • Gene October 8, 2017 (2:39 pm)

    ERITHAN-FRUSTRATED-  just wonder if you have ever attended one of the meetings that are held- I think at SW Precint —to voice your  concerns/observations? 

    • Erithan October 8, 2017 (4:05 pm)

      Not personally, I can’t drive(and I’ve been dealing with an injury) and I’m a bit fearful of retaliation if I was pinpointed somehow, though thats just how stressful this has gotten in part I’m sure.=\

      I have tried non emergency to try to find out who I could talk to, but wasn’t able to get much info.

      We do have a few people who are much braver here and are trying to get something done. But it’s been like talking to brick walls.=(

      The 911 operator last night also did give me a number for some community police thing, suggested calling it since the issue is chronic, and there is apparently a team that deals with chronic issues.

      Apologies for all the rants, just again super frustrated, and wary with recent developments and escalation.

      • WSB October 8, 2017 (4:14 pm)

        We have mentioned the Community Police Team here many times. Their contact info is online – names and numbers:


        The W sectors are western West Seattle, basically, so Officer Flores is your contact.

        You don’t have to go to a meeting to contact him. But the meetings are great places to voice your concern in the presence of the top precinct brass (SW Pct. commander Capt. Pierre Davis is almost always there). If you can’t make it to a meeting – maybe a representative from your building can? There is no pinpointing, no identification in the 10 years I’ve been covering all the meetings, usually identifying those who speak up as “attendees.” The Junction Neighborhood Organization’s quarterly meetings often have an SPD rep in attendance. And if you ever don’t know who at the city can help – not just regarding crime/safety concerns – call or e-mail your city councilmember to ask:


        She has three staff members who spend a lot of time working on constituent concerns – TR

        • Erithan October 8, 2017 (6:43 pm)

          Thank you so much for all the information!, I’ll check in with some of the other residents here make sure we all have it.

      • Hoku October 8, 2017 (8:28 pm)

        Erithan: please contact the local Community Police Team (CPT). What you’ve described sounds like a CPT issue. Request confidentiality if you are concerned for your safety.

      • Downperspectivescope October 9, 2017 (3:13 pm)

        You have a right to be frustrated! It doesn’t seem fair that these POS should be allowed to harass and torment and abuse society around them. Junkies and mentally unstable predators should not have a pass to trespass and intimidate urban residents! Seattle government wants ALL your money- to turn this city into a homeless toilet. So what if the building tenants are afraid to leave their unit- we don’t want to offend the junkies crapping in your lobby..

  • Buttercup October 8, 2017 (2:51 pm)

    Where did the fork lift come from? Didn’t someone think it was odd to see a fork lift trundling down the road at 3:30 am? only in West Seattle.

    • WSB October 8, 2017 (2:57 pm)

      We are not likely to be able to get any further official police information before tomorrow, but an associate who was listening to the scanner during the search around 3:45 am has since told us there was a report – keep in mind, that’s early on, so I don’t know if they have verified this via video or witnesses, etc. – that the thief/thieves may have been using a Penske truck. If that is so, *perhaps* they brought in the forklift. All we know for sure is that they left it behind. – TR

  • Murica October 8, 2017 (3:07 pm)

    Sure it’s a big deal when crooks steal from big banks, but when big banks steal from people everyday no one does anything?

  • DonaLuisa October 8, 2017 (4:00 pm)

    I passed through that intersection about 6-6:30 pm Saturday night. I noticed an officer walking in the alley between the dance studio & the bank.  I thought she might be security, then when I turned the corner saw the SPD patrol car angle-parked in the corner of the bank parking lot. Interesting the area has been patrolled only hours before the crime. 

  • TJ October 8, 2017 (5:13 pm)

    “No one does anything” when big banks steal from people lol? I remember the story not too long ago about the lady at a local in-store Chase I believe getting prison time for embezzling money from people. We all pay when money gets stolen from a bank, whether it’s a armed robbery or a fool stealing an entire atm

    • Swede. October 8, 2017 (11:41 pm)

      Kerry Killinger got over $25 millions when he got fired from Washington Mutual… Then Alan Fishman came on board for 17 days and got paid almost $20 millions right before they filled bankruptcy ..! If that is not stealing money I don’t know what you think it is. 

      Neither one of them got any legal issues at all. Zero.  

    • Murica October 9, 2017 (10:03 am)

      Yeah we all pay…the CEOs who get their million dollar bonuses after cheating the entire nation. Keep telling yourself it’s a perfect system. 

  • WSB October 9, 2017 (2:32 pm)

    No new info available from police yet. But we also checked with Chase about replacement plans, and have updated the story above. – TR

  • Downperspectivescope October 9, 2017 (2:57 pm)

    I shudder every time I read a story about someone’s home being robbed, and important family heirlooms stolen, or vagrants crapping in people’s yards, or wackos talking to kids- but I really could not care less about that bank ATM getting stolen. We are not ALL paying for it- because we are ALL paying whether atm’s get stolen or not. These banks are repeatedly caught ripping people off at every opportunity. New legislation is constantly bring introduced to try and limit how badly banks can deceive and manipulate their customers, and the banks just keep coming up with new ways to take (or F’) you!  That’s the banks job- how to take as much as possible, as discretely as possible, to allow them to continue taking as much as possible. 

    I hate that someone broke into the little gift shop on California a week ago- that sucks!! That makes me angry, but just to be honest- I don’t care how many atms get stolen. 

    • Felix Grounds October 9, 2017 (5:28 pm)

      Well, if the current “administration” has it’s way…banks are going to see less regulation and CEO’s will continue to get away with it…

      When he talked about draining the swamp, he was talking about our wallets.

  • Jim P October 10, 2017 (12:37 am)

    Many ATM’s have booby traps and spray the money with permanent dye if the vault portion is forced.  Might be a lot of work for money they can’t spend readily.

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