A burglary crew making off with lottery tickets from a Garden Grove liquor store also tried to haul away an ATM machine, but the rope tied to the back of their van snapped as they peeled out of the parking lot.
The burglars broke into Shop and Go Liquor just before 3 a.m. Monday by prying the doors open with a crowbar, the Garden Grove Police Department said.
Surveillance video shows one thief grabbing cases full of California Lottery scratchers behind the counter, while another ties a rope from the back of their van to an ATM machine near the front door.
The burglars get back into the van and the driver repeatedly tries to pull away with the ATM in tow. The force rips the doors off the hinges and causes the rope to snap.
George Albajali witnessed the crime from the gas station next door. He said he tried to jot down a license plate number but the van didn't have one.
"I see the rope behind when they run away," he said.
The store owner, Kumar, arrived to find a mess of shattered glass.
Top news of the day
"They know what they're doing, they are very organized people," he said. "They did it in one and a half minute."
Lottery officials said stolen tickets are flagged, and if they are cashed they are tagged and tracked, leaving a trail for police. Tickets with a prize of $600 or more must be cashed at a California Lottery office.
Police said the men may be responsible for a similar heist at another liquor store less than a mile away. In that case, the burglars also used a van and a rope to steal.