Brazen attempt to rob ATM at Lawton/Ft. Sill Airport

Lawton_Lawton Police are trying to figure out who broke into the Lawton-Fort Sill Regional Airport overnight and tried to steal an ATM.  Workers discovered the cash machine ripped out of the wall and broken into pieces when they arrived at work around 4 a.m. Thursday.  A short time later, they found the safe that is normally inside the machine.

The would be thief, or thieves, managed to get it outside the airport terminal.  But, that's as far as they got.  When the armored car driver opened the ATM's safe, all the money was still inside - despite obvious efforts to get to the cash.

Not only did someone try to brazenly make off with an ATM, they took it from the airport - a place commonly known for having tight security.  "I didn't expect quite this kind of damage," says Airport Manager Barbara McNally.  "We've had attempts before, but they actually ripped this out of the wall." 

Authorities are also wondering exactly how they managed to pull the machine from the wall.  "It's hard to imagine what type of equipment they brought with them, but certainly they didn't do it with their bare hands," says Captain Will Hines from the Lawton Police Department.

"We're thinking it may have been more than one person because of the weight of the ATM machine - and it was moved, it was moved," says Hines.  "Looks like from the damage on the floors they tried to use a blow torch to open it," says McNally.  The armored car driver says the safe is impenetrable anyway.

To make the crime even more bold - it was all happening in the middle of the airport terminal.  There are windows to the outside all around, but people aren't.  McNally says it's because there aren't any flights from 12:30-4:00 a.m. and the terminal is locked.

Hines says police are still investigating how the criminals got in to the terminal.  "There is a point where they think they may have come in - right now that's still under investigation," he says.  McNally says the airport is taking another look at their facility's security.