The early morning robbery attempt left Sam’s Bait and Tackle Shop heavily damaged.
Police Chief Todd Ortis said he received a call at approximately 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. When he arrived on the scene, Ortis said it appeared the suspect used a back-hoe to rip apart the doorway to the store in an attempt to dislodge the ATM machine inside. However, Ortis said the attempt failed and the suspect eventually fled the scene.
The back-hoe was stolen from the water district on the other side of Pine Prairie. Ortis said the machinery was stolen, driven through a fence at the water district and then across the Village of Pine Prairie.
Ortis and other officers reviewed the store’s surveillance tapes and said it appeared the suspect was a white male.
They are currently working on enhancing the video in an attempt to better make out facial features and clothing the suspect was wearing.
“We have developed persons of interest and are questioning them,” Ortis said. “We’re currently in the process of identifying the suspect.”
Ortis added the estimate of damages is unknown at this time, but the damage to both the fence at the water district and the store are extensive.
Anyone who has information regarding the attempted theft is asked to call the Pine Prairie Police Department at 599-2904.