ATMs at two Target stores in Orange County were burglarized Tuesday and law enforcement officials are investigating whether they are connected considering the similar circumstances.
The first burglary was committed at the Foothill Ranch Target store in Lake Forest at around 3:30 a.m., when the money-dispensing machine was smashed and burglarized of an unknown amount of cash, officials said.
Surveillance footage shows a trio of people dressed in all black making their way into the store before crowding around an ATM. One person can be seen swinging a sledgehammer against the machine before it's smashed open and they are able to get some cash out of it.
The entire encounter lasted about two minutes and 20 seconds, as the video shows. Just about 30 to 40 minutes later, the second burglary unfolded in another part of the county.
That burglary was in Santa Ana, where another ATM at a Target store near North Grand Avenue and 17th Street was smashed open in a similar way, said Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.
“It appears what happened is three suspect wearing all black, faces covered in purple bandanas, pull up in a dark-colored vehicle, get out, use crowbars to pry open the doors of the Target store," he told KTLA. "They then go through the cash registers.”
That ATM similarly had an unknown amount of cash stolen from it in a short amount of time, officials said.
“Obviously a very quick job on the part of the suspects,” Bertagna said, noting that they were specifically looking for cash. “No other items were taken from the store.”
The suspect descriptions both cases appeared to match. Investigators with multiple agencies are looking into whether the incidents are related and have not identified the suspects.
Customers were shocked by the news of criminal activity at the superstore.
“Oh my gosh, I can’t believe something like that happened," said Santa Ana Target shopper Delila Riley. "This is supposed to be a nice area. This is ridiculous.”