Thieves target strip club for ATM machine

HOUSTON - Thieves targeted a northeast Houston strip club on Thursday.

Officials said the two men broke into Papagayos Exclusivo, 7800 Eastex Freeway, at 3 a.m. The business is known for having a lot of cash on the premises.

The owner lives behind the club and realized his bar was being targeted.

"I heard the alarm and woke up real quick and turned on the monitor and saw two men trying to break in. I got ready to act -- shoot them," said Chalino Cruz.

The club was closed at the time.

"They attempted to get an ATM but it was bolted to the ground," said C.R. Bean with the Houston Police Department.

Surveillance video shows the men spending about three minutes trying to get into the machine before they realized they needed a combination to an interior safe to get to the cash.

Investigators said the men pried open the front door and after realizing they couldn't get the ATM, they ran out the back door. Police are working with the owner to track down the people responsible.

"We had K-9 officers out, but they lost the trail in a back neighborhood," Bean said.

No one was inside the building and no one was injured.

Cruz said he planned to hire a security guard to watch the business.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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