ATLANTA - Investigators with Atlanta police are asking for the public's help identifying two men seen in surveillance video stealing a Bitcoin ATM then firing a shot at a Midtown smoke shop.
The armed robbery took place Tuesday night at around 10:45 at the Village Smoke Shop on Juniper Street. In surveillance video you can see the first crook, who police describe as about 5’4 to 5’5 wearing a grey hoodie, make his way to the Bitcoin ATM. Bitcoin is a digital currency. The robber unplugs the power strip as the second robber, described to be about 6’3 with a neatly trimmed beard, stands back.
“People usually walk in and out all the time,” said Amanda McCollum, who is the manager at the smoke shop. “I really didn’t think anything of it when they came.”
McCollum said the men caught her attention when she saw them trying to rip the ATM machine from the table it was bolted to.
“He picked up the machine and started dragging it when I saw him from back behind the counter,” said McCollum. “I run up and am like 'yo what are doing, what are doing,'” said McCollum.
That’s when McCollum said one of the crooks took out a gun and fired a shot into the floor near where she was standing. McCollum said there were about 15 people inside the smoke shop, including an employee’s six-year-old son.
”I am very very happy that no one was injured,” said McCollum. “Especially the little one, if the little one was hurt, I don’t know what I would have done about it,” said McCollum.
Atlanta police said the armed robbers took off with the ATM machine with up to $2,000. Detectives said the two men got into a late 1980’s red Chevrolet Caviler, which was occupied by two other people.
“The concerning thing is the nature or the way the robbery took place,” said Atlanta Police Detective Scott Bowers. “It escalated from a simple snatch and grab, and escalated to a crime of violent nature when they drew a weapon."
Police believe the suspects took off on Linden Avenue from Willow Street. Police ask anyone with information to call Atlanta Police or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.