CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — Thieves smashed into a gas station and used an SUV and chain to pull an ATM machine from inside the store early Tuesday in Orange County, deputies said.

The incident began just before 1:55 a.m. at the Refuel gas station at 1950 U.S. 15/501
near the Chatham County line, according to a news release from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.

Thieves smashed the front doors open and about 15 minutes later, a white Chevy Suburban or Tahoe arrived and three people worked to steal the ATM machine, causing “considerable damage” to the building, the news release said.

The group wrapped a chain around the ATM and used the SUV to pull it through the front doors.

The SUV then left north on Smith Level Road toward Carrboro, officials said.

Security video showed the rear hatch of the vehicle was open as the SUV pulled away, deputies said.

The suspects wore masks, gloves, and jackets, which hid their identities.

“Investigators believe this crime may be connected to a series of similar thefts across the state,” the news release said.

Deputies said anyone who has any information about the case should contact the lead investigator Pat Gilchrist at (919) 245-2928.

The Chapel Hill Police Department also responded to the scene.