The Mobil gas station at 950 University Ave. The ATM can be seen outside the shop. Image: Google Street View

Occupants in two different vehicles tried to steal an ATM from a Berkeley gas station early Tuesday morning, authorities report. The second time, the thieves succeeded.

Berkeley Police Lt. Kevin Schofield said investigators are still trying to determine whether the culprits were the same in both incidents.

The first attempt took place between 3 and 4 a.m. when people drove up to the Mobil station at 950 University Ave. (between Eighth and Ninth streets) and tried to steal the ATM mounted outside, Schofield said.

Several hours later, just after 6:30 a.m., thieves secured the ATM and drove off with it. The vehicle was last seen going south on Eighth from University. Officers responded but could not find it.

As it turned out, minutes before the ATM theft, thieves had taken a gray Chevrolet Tahoe from Solano Avenue and San Carlos Street in Albany. Schofield said police determined that the Tahoe was the same vehicle used in the ATM heist.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the Tahoe, California license plate 4XFS557, was still missing.

Schofield said BPD is not releasing surveillance footage from the grand theft because the investigation is ongoing.

KPIX published video from the incident that reportedly had been shared by the business. The video appears to show the thieves drive a short distance, tearing the ATM — which had been attached to the vehicle — off its mount. Then they drove out of view, dragging the machine behind them. Two black-clad people in hoods and masks could be seen moving around outside the car before the theft while a third person, in a bright-colored shirt, waited in the driver’s seat.

Several calls to the business Tuesday afternoon went unanswered.

Update, 4:25 p.m. A nearby neighbor who asked to be anonymous due to safety concerns told Berkeleyside she saw “some commotion” around 4 a.m. and looked outside. She saw two people at the gas station and what appeared to be a white or silver pickup truck that may have been American-made: “It sounded like they were trying to reverse into the machine to knock it down and snatch it up.”

This story was updated shortly after publication to include a description from the KPIX video. 

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Emilie Raguso (former senior editor, news) joined Berkeleyside in 2012 and covered politics, public safety and development until her departure in 2022. In 2017, Emilie was named Journalist...