Shocking surveillance video captured the moment a team of brazen would-be crooks burst into a California convenience store using a massive backhoe – only to leave empty-handed as a terrified employee looked on.
Footage of Monday morning’s chaos at the AMPM store in West Oakland shows the construction vehicle’s bucket crashing through bulletproof glass and shattering a vending machine as the unnamed employee runs for his life, according to KGO -TV.
“They destroyed the entire front!” Store owner Ali Abdulla told the outlet that the clumsy crooks eventually fled at the sound of sirens.
“That’s at least $70,000 in damage,” he noted, calling it a sign that the American dream was now an “American nightmare.”
The 51-year-old store owner said he “was born and raised in Oakland” and had “never seen anything like this.”
“I think the only way to run a business in Oakland is, as soon as you close, you sleep in the store and stay locked and loaded with an AK-47 and just be ready because the police can’t get to time.
“And I don’t blame the police,” he added. “There just aren’t enough.”
Abdulla said his employee, who was inches from the glass when the backhoe first hit the glass and had to run for his life, was not injured during the attempted robbery.
The backhoe bucket then pulverizes an ATM, reducing it to a pile of twisted metal.
The masked thieves then backed a van up to the broken window and tried to wrap a chain around the battered ATM – only to realize the chain was not long enough.
They panicked when they heard sirens converge on the scene, prompting one of the cooks to dive into the bed of the van while the driver left empty-handed.
Police are still on the lookout for the would-be crooks who operate excavators.
“This is not what we were promised,” Abdulla said. “It’s not the American dream. I don’t see the American dream. I think it’s America’s nightmare right now.