Thieves smash into rural Alberta bank with stolen front-end loader

EDMONTON –

A bank in rural Alberta is caved in after thieves crashed into the storefront Sunday morning.

Around 3 a.m., the local ATB branch in Warburg, Alta., was raided by three suspects.

RCMP says the group first stole a large pickup truck and a front-end loader from the Warburg Village Yard. They then set their sights on the bank, ramming the side of the building and getting away with a small amount of cash.

“My first thought was a tornado had come through Warburg,” said Gord Enders, branch owner. “(They) basically just pushed in the front of the building.”

Janette Barager works at her small business across the street.

“I was just devastated to see that,” Barager said, sharing how other businesses in the community have been victims of robberies.

“How many times do we have to go through this,” she added. “I’m very worried because the economy is really bad right now, and this is not only going to be bad for my store but the whole community of Warburg.”

By Monday afternoon, engineers were on-site inspecting the ceiling and walls to determine the extent of the damage.

“We’re committed to Warburg,” Enders said. “We will be back open ASAP.”

For now, his five employees have been relocated to the Calmar branch as a new building could take several months.

Mounties released surveillance images of three of the suspects in the hopes someone could help identify them. Officers say the stolen pick-up truck they used is a black 2007 Ford F350 with Alberta licence plate VBK19.

One suspect is described as a heavy-set male that is about 6 feet tall, has thick shoulders, and wore light brown style coveralls, a black sweater, and a dark hat.

The second suspect is described as a male with a skinny build, is about 6 feet tall, and wore dark-coloured boots, pants, and jacket with white lettering on the left and ride side.

The third suspect was not observed outside the vehicle by surveillance cameras.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Breton RCMP at 780-696-3520 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-22-8477.

Warburg is approximately 100 kilometres south of Edmonton.

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