DETROIT (WWJ) – Two businesses in southwest Detroit were targeted by smash and grab thieves Tuesday morning and now, investigators are trying to determine if there’s any connection between the two crimes.

The first crime scene is at a Secretary of State branch on Bagley Avenue at 21st Street. Police arrived on the scene around 2 a.m. to find broken glass everywhere and the business in disarray.

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Michigan State Police say it appears that a mini van drove through the front of the building and the suspects removed the ATM before fleeing the scene. It’s not clear how much money the crooks made off with. Police say the suspect’s minivan sustained damage to the rear and a broken rear window.

Markita Bert was working security detail at the branch when the situation unfolded.

“I saw them put the ATM machine in the trunk and pull right off,” Bert told WWJ’s Charlie Langton. “It took them three minutes. Three minutes. That’s what’s messing me up, that it only took them three minutes.”

Rite Aid smash and grab. (Credit: Charlie Langton/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Rite Aid smash and grab. (Credit: Charlie Langton/WWJ Newsradio 950)

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The second scene is nearby, at the Rite Aid store on Vernor Highway at Springwells Street. As in the other robbery, police say the thieves drove their vehicle through the store’s front glass doors and windows. The crooks apparently wanted the store’s ATM, but they were unsuccessful, making off with only assorted merchandise.

Employees arriving for work Tuesday were stunned to see the damage left behind, with shelves overturned and merchandise scattered throughout the store.

“Apparently, we have to clean up and everything and then we’ll review the tapes and whatever the case may be,” said one employee, who did not want to be named.

No injuries were reported in either incident. Investigators weren’t immediately sure which robbery occurred first, or if there is any connection.

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Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 313-596-2200.