Deputies searching for three men after smash and grab in suburban West Palm Beach

Men attempted to steal ATM machine

A 7-hour search by Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputies doesn't lead to an arrest in the Sunoco gas station ATM theft that took place Wednesday morning.

PBSO officials say three men drove into a Sunoco gas station on State Road 7 with masks on and stole the ATM around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

"It's been a rough morning," Sunoco owner Jack Jaber said. "5 o'clock (it happened) and then at 5:04 it was over and done with. Four minutes. "

Jaber watched surveillance footage of the crime, which hasn't yet been released by PBSO.

"A bunch of confusion," he described. "A bunch of slipping and falling and then they went straight for the ATM.  They took a sledgehammer to the ATM and then they pried and wiggled it.  Two guys carried it out and threw it into the back of the truck and left. "

The four minute crime led to a 7-hour manhunt.  Chopper 5 was the only news helicopter in the sky as deputies zeroed in on the abandoned truck.

The truck and machine were both recovered. The heart of the investigation took place near Sansbury Way in between Okeechobee Boulevard and Belvedere Road. 

The road was shut down until around noon while deputies searched with their helicopter and K-9 dogs.

The King's Academy and Berean Christian School were on lockdown this morning, but reopened around 10 in the morning.

"These things happen," King's Academy Parent Elizabeth Brown said after dropping her children back off at school. "It's happened before so I wasn't all that concerned.  I'm pretty confident about the King's Academy and the safety here. "

This is the first week the Sunoco gas station stopped staying open 24 hours a day.

"Just lack of business from 12 at night to 6 in the morning. Just no business," Jaber said. "Closed it down and now two days later this is what I get. "

A tough blow to a new business owner, Jaber said.

"It hurts," he said. "It definitely hurts. It definitely takes its toll.  It's going to take a lot of catching up. "

Investigators are trying to figure out whether or not the truck that was recovered was stolen.

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