Man accused of stealing ATM from Tacoma bingo hall

Staff writerJanuary 28, 2014 

A man has been charged with allegedly stealing an ATM from a Tacoma bingo hall, rolling the machine past watching employees then dumping it into a recycling bin.

Scott Allan Thornton, 37, on Monday pleaded not guilty to first-degree theft in Pierce County Superior Court. Thornton was ordered jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Court records give the following account of the theft:

The general manager of the AMVETS bingo hall on South Tyler Street called police Jan. 9 to report that someone had just stolen the hall's ATM. The machine is worth about $3,000 and held $2,460 cash when it was taken.

The cash machine was located in the second-floor bar, which was not open at the time of the theft but left unlocked so employees could come and go.

Video surveillance showed a man later identified as Thornton getting a dolly from a storage room. The man used the dolly to pry the ATM off the floor and wheel the machine to his car parked outside.

"After getting the ATM loaded into his car, the defendant apparently noticed some employees looking at him," the records show.

He then drove off.

Police later spoke to a witness who said Thornton had put an ATM into the man's recycling bin, and officers recovered the machine there.

Police spotted Thornton on Thursday in Tacoma and arrested him.

He declined to discuss the ATM theft, saying only, "Prove it," when questioned by officers, the records show.

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