IBARAKI (TR) – It was 10 years ago last week that an excavator was used to steal an ATM machine from a supermarket in Ryugasaki City, an incident that ended in a fatal traffic accident, reports Fuji News Network (Jan. 3) in a flashback.
At around 3:20 a.m. on January 10, 2009, a deliveryman tipped off police after seeing the excavator digging into a wall at the market, located in the Kawarashiromachi area.
Officers arriving at the the scene found the ATM machine — containing around 12 million yen in cash — missing and the excavator abandoned near the hole in the wall.
Based on information provided by the witness, police learned that thieves loaded the ATM onto a truck. They then fled in the truck and a passenger vehicle.
Police later identified the passenger vehicle. About one hour and 20 minutes after the theft, an officer on patrol spotted the vehicle on a road in Noda City, Chiba Prefecture.
When the vehicle ignored the patrol car’s siren, a pursuit commenced. After a distance of about 2 kilometers, the vehicle went off the road and struck a concrete-block wall fronting a residence in the town of Goka, Ibaraki. The vehicle then flipped on its side, resulting in extensive damage.
The male driver of the vehicle, who suffered injuries over the entirety of his body, was rushed to a hospital, but he was later confirmed dead. Police later identified him as a 47-year-old resident of Soka City, Saitama Prefecture.
At some point thereafter, police found the truck — with the ATM still loaded in the back — in a parking lot in Goka. The machine had not been broken into, and the 12 million yen in cash was still inside.