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Brazen ATM theft at Chicago pizza place caught on video

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A thief was caught on surveillance video stealing an ATM from a popular pizza place in Chicago, then wheeling it down the sidewalk. (WLS)

A thief was caught on surveillance video stealing an ATM from Salerno's, a popular pizza place in Chicago's West Town neighborhood.

It wasn't exactly an express withdrawal. The alleged intruder spent 20 minutes inside the well-known eatery. When he didn't find any cash, he left with a cash station.

Salerno's owner, Peter Lia, said he was stunned by the video showing the alleged burglar wheeling away his restaurant's ATM.

"It just shocked me. It just shocked me. I cannot get over it. It just surprised me," Lia said.

Around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, a man with a blue jacket was seen outside the restaurant before kicking in the front door and shattering it. Crews replaced the glass on Wednesday.

"Looked like a man out of desperation. Came in here on a mission," said Michael Marro, Salerno's employee.

Once inside, he's seen scoping out the bar area with a flashlight in hand before leaping over the counter.

In a back room, a camera captures him rummaging through a cash register, only to find it empty. So he heads down to the basement.

"He kicked open the wine room and the liquor room, and he didn't take anything in there. Probably just wanted to see what's behind those doors," said Marro.

He finds a dolly, and soon he's back upstairs, leaping over more counters and, at one point, stopping at the surveillance monitors - clearly aware that he's being recorded.

But there's no stopping now. The ATM machine is bolted to the floor in a corner next to the bar, but he manages to muscle it free.

Minutes later, he's out the front door with the ATM on the dolly as he makes his getaway on Racine Avenue.

Twenty minutes after breaking in, the snow did him no favors as he awkwardly wheels the ATM through the parking lot to a vehicle.

"The guy's got a lot of nerve. He didn't even care about who could see him or what. He was on that mission. He wanted what he wanted," said Marro.

It's unclear how much money was in the ATM, but it could have been thousands of dollars. The loss goes to the ATM vendor, but the restaurant had to replace a couple doors and is out a dolly.

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