Three Hills RCMP say the suspects used a truck to remove an ATM from a local business on Aug. 30, 2020. (Supplied)

Authorities are seeking to identify two suspects who managed to take a bank machine from inside a southern Alberta small business this week.

RCMP say two suspects allegedly broke into Ron's Gas & Wash in Three Hills, Alta. at 7:10 a.m. on Aug. 30.

Once inside, officials say the pair attached a tow rope to the ATM and used a truck to pull it out of the building, fleeing the scene shortly afterwards.

RCMP say one suspect was wearing all black clothincalgarg and had a mask covering his face while the second was wearing a black baseball hat and sunglasses.

The truck is described as a black, four-door Ford F-150 with black rimes and grey accent design on the side.

(Supplied/Three Hills RCMP)

According to RCMP, there have been more than 2,800 thefts, including a number of ATM thefts, from Alberta businesses between January and July 2020.

As a result, police are offering advice to businesses to prevent further ATM thefts, which often result in serious damage to buildings.

RCMP say owners should:

  • Avoid placing ATMs near the front entrance of their businesses
  • Make sure the device is properly secured
  • Install proper signage that informs anyone that the ATM is monitored by security cameras
  • Equip ATMs with GPS tracking devices or alarms and ensure they know how they work
  • Place bollards in front of business entrances to prevent criminals from using vehicles to ram their way in

Last year, there were more than 5,500 break-and-enters to businesses in Alberta, with the highest number of incidents occurring in August (more than 600).

RCMP add there were more than 40 ATM theft attempts in 2019 and approximately 40 more incidents where the criminals managed to get away with them.

Anyone with information about Sunday's incident in Three Hills or any other theft are encouraged to contact Three Hills RCMP at 403-443-5539 or their local police detachment.