by: , Photo courtesy of KGW-TV

On July 4th, at 5:17 am, Milwaukie Police and Fire responded to the report of a fire at the local Clackamas Community Federal Credit Union, 10400 S.E. Main Street in downtown Milwaukie.

When crews arrived they were surprised to see a piece of heavy equipment--a front-end loader--with its steering wheel set on fire, and smashed through the front of the credit union.

Fire crews quickly extinguished the blaze, and discovered that the loader had been used in an abortive ATM theft.

Apparently one or more suspects stole a front-end loader, and tried to use it to remove an ATM machine located at the exterior portion of the building. During the process, the inept attempt only seceded in pushing the ATM through the front of the building and into the lobby. After several bundled attempts the thief or thieves gave up and fled the scene.

Milwaukie Police spokesman Officer Kevin Krebs reported that witnesses said two suspects were seen leaving the scene. The front-end loader had been reported stolen from Modern Machinery in Portland on June 30th. The fire caused damage to its cab.

A Mack dump truck and attached trailer was used to transport the front-end loader to the scene. The trailer was left there, and Milwaukie Police and the suspect or suspects apparently escaped in the dump truck. Both the trailer and the truck were stolen from Hessel Construction in Portland on June 30th. The red Mack truck was found later in the day, itself set on fire, near S.E. 18th and Schiller.

The attempted theft caused extensive damage to the front of the building, and the Milwaukie branch of the credit union will be closed until repairs can be made.

Milwaukie Police are investigating.

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