Tyler PD locates Stolen Dickey's BBQ van used in attempted ATM theft

TYLER (KYTX) -- The owners of the soon-to-be-opened Dickey's Barbecue got a good surprise--and a bad one--after their new catering van was stolen Wednesday and used in the attempted theft of an ATM from Texas Bank and Trust on Grande Boulevard.

Cameras at the bank were wide awake while most of us were sleeping Wednesday morning.

In the video they captured you can see the brightly colored and clearly marked van pull up. Then six men get out, wrap a chain around the ATM and go for broke. A seventh thief steps on the gas, but the only thing that breaks is the chain.

"We've seen this in the past," Tyler Police Officer Don Martin said. "Most of the time they're unsuccessful. Those things are really well anchored."

Tyler police said this kind of crime happens a couple times a year, adding that thieves usually use a stolen van.

A few miles away on the south loop, Dickey's barbecue is still under construction. Owner John Huml got to work Wednesday and found his catering van missing.

The only thing left was the lock cylinders laying in the parking lot.

"They obviously popped the lock out," Dickey's owner John Huml said. "And then they popped the one out of the ignition. Apparently all it takes is like a screwdriver."

Huml and his wife Nikki said it wasn't what they needed after struggling to get the place off the ground.

"[John] called me this morning and said 'Are you ready for more bad news?'" Nikki said. "And I said no."

The truck did turn back up, but it was nowhere near the restaurant. A good Samaritan who called the number on the side of the van after spotting it just outside this neighborhood along County Road 164 just south of Tyler.

Further down the road the thieves had dumped what was already in the van into a ditch. With another call from another good Samaritan it was all returned to the restaurant.

"You know it's the holiday season, everybody's having a tough time," Nikki said. "But these people just continue to make it more difficult for everybody."

As difficult as it might be, the Huml's say they've already gotten their Christmas miracle. But they're still waiting to find out what it will cost to fix the damage.

They're still holding to their plan of opening the day after Christmas day--saying it will probably be by the skin of their teeth.

Texas Bank and Trust told CBS 19 they turned all the surveillance video over to the police and they're working with them to try to catch the thieves.

Tyler Police are urging anyone who's driving by a bank and sees a large van or truck by an ATM late at night should give them a call. They're hoping they can catch these guys in the act.


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