3 Minit Mart gas stations burglarized in metro

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Three Minit Marts were broken into Tuesday morning with severe damage to the machines.

It's something Tom Anderson, construction superintendent at a new QuikTrip springing up on Highway 150 in Lee's Summit, understands all too well.

"It happens. I'm surprised at how often it happens," said Anderson.

Two men in a white F-250 truck with dual axels were caught stealing a forklift from his work site, repeatedly ramming it into the Bank of the West ATM machine next door.

"Sometimes it is brute force. People realize if they hit anything hard enough its going to come open," said Sgt. Chris Depue of Lee's Summit Police, who also reiterated most of the time there is just a couple hundred dollars inside of ATM machines.

However, that was not the case Tuesday morning in Independence. A Minit Mart worker tells 41 Action News thieves got away with $20,000 from the 39th Street convenience store.

The clerk said the thieves pried the door open with a crowbar, disabled the alarm, stole the security footage and wrecked their ATM. 

That happened around 2 a.m.

Just before that, someone tried to rob a Minit Mart in Kansas City near 74th and State Line. Police tell us no money was taken, but the north door was damaged and to a teller machine.

Then in Lee's Summit around 3:30 a.m., the Minit Mart on Lakewood Circle was hit. Officers said surveillance showed three men who damaged a Red Box machine, ATM and ice cream freezer. Officers said it totaled about $30,000 in damage and the offenders came in a white four-door sedan. 

Sgt. Depue said they are looking at anyone as a suspect and that they could be connected.

"Employees who have ever worked with those machines would know the vulnerability of those machines. Where to pry, where to push, how they're locked up," said Depue, however, he said there are no suspects and they are looking for any information that could be helpful.

Meanwhile, Anderson hopes the thieves will have a change of heart.

"It's disappointing. There is a lot of work out there. All the trades on this project and we have a hard time keeping people employed. So if those guys decide to change careers - we have a career for them," said Anderson.

If you have any information you are asked to call Crimestoppers at 816-474-TIPS.

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