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Police arrest man in botched ATM theft; say it was third try of same machine

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A burglary suspect probably wishes he wasn’t so persistent in his alleged attempts to break into an automated teller machine.

A Walnut Creek police spokesman says officers responding to a Kaiser Permanente building arrested a man suspected of breaking into the machine -- the third time, police say -- he tried to break into the same ATM.

Officers had responded to the building after getting a call around 6:30 p.m. Sunday that somebody had walked into the building and was using a crowbar to try to steal the ATM.

After officers set up a perimeter around the medical office building, which is in a parklike setting about four miles from the city’s downtown, other officers searched the building.

Inside, they say they found the suspect -- identified as 47-year-old Kurt Kauman, of nearby Pleasant Hill -- hiding in a lunchroom’s drop ceiling tiles.

Police say when they took Kauman into custody they found him carrying cash that had been taken from the machine.

Because Kauman is suspected of trying to break into the same ATM two previous times, he was booked on three separate counts of suspicion of commercial burglary of the same business. He’s also facing charges of felony vandalism, possession of burglary tools and conspiracy.

Meanwhile, as police inside the building were in the process of searching for and arresting Kauman, officers surrounding the building outside noticed a car circling the area.

When officers pulled over what could have been the intended getaway car, they say they found the driver -- Suzanne Breatt -- with binoculars, additional burglary tools and Kauman’s drivers license inside the car.

Police also determined that she had been speaking to Kauman on her cell phone during the botched ATM burglary.

The 37-year-old Breatt, of Concord, was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy, possession of burglary tools and driving on a suspended drivers license.

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