ATM stolen from Landover Sports and Learning Center – NBC4 Washington

The Wayne Curry Sports and Learning Center in Landover is the latest target of ATM thieves.

Sometime on Thursday evening, thieves broke in and stole the center's ATM.

When the investigation began, the center was closed on Friday morning. When it reopened, regulars at the popular center were only just learning about the theft.

“That doesn't surprise me,” said one guest. “We don't have permanent security. We don't have someone walking around all the time.”

The facility has become a central point in the community – the fields and tracks are popular with seniors and anyone looking for exercise.

Visitors to the center are wondering why this happened because they say the ATMs in the building do not always have cash.

“I think this is an act of desperation. It's definitely an act of desperation for someone to stoop to this level,” said another guest. “People here really need help because you obviously don't get rich stealing ATMs from the Wayne Curry Sports Complex.”

The incident occurred under surveillance cameras, which may be helpful in the investigation.

Prince George's County Police Chief Malik Aziz attended a press conference on ATM thefts Thursday with Glenn Ivey, a Maryland congressman who is co-sponsoring a bill that would treat ATM thefts as bank robberies.

“These brazen robberies not only endanger the public but also disrupt our financial institutions,” Aziz said.

The Safe Access to Cash Act allows the FBI to investigate ATM thefts, which are often committed by organized, cross-state organizations.

Aziz said that ATM theft is not a minor crime and that there are no victims involved.

“ATM thefts are becoming increasingly brutal. Armed organised criminals are threatening employees and using sophisticated techniques to steal cash,” he said.

If the bill is passed, ATM thefts could be punishable by fines and up to 20 years in prison.

Maryland-National Capital Park Police are investigating this latest robbery.