A man has been charged with stealing an ATM from a Tacoma bingo hall, rolling the machine past watching employees and then dumping it into a recycling bin.
Scott Allan Thornton, 37, pleaded not guilty Monday to first-degree theft in Pierce County Superior Court. He was ordered jailed in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Court records give this 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.