Authorities have been investigating a series of ATM thefts that have swept through Texas recently, with evidence suggesting that a larger criminal crew from Dallas-Fort Worth might be responsible.
Thieves have targeted two ATM thefts in Temple, one in Waco, one in Killeen, and another in Hewitt over these past two months.
The footage from Hewitt went viral recently.
The incident occurred on October 26, with the widely shared video capturing the attempts of several men using a truck to forcibly remove an ATM from a convenience store at a gas station.
An ATM located at a retail location typically holds a maximum of $20,000, although some very busy locations might hold as much as $800,000, according to Prineta USA, an ATM service provider.
The thieves succeeded, loading the ATM into the truckbed and transporting it to Waco, where they cracked it open and helped themselves to the cash, as explained by Chief John McGrath of the Hewitt Police Department, according to KCEN-TV.
Speculating that the recent ATM thefts were related because of the similar M.O. employed by the suspects, McGrath said that his department was working together with other Texas agencies to identify the suspects.
As covered by The Dallas Express, a multi-agency operation involving the Plano Police Department and SWAT in June thwarted an eight-person operation allegedly responsible for stealing multiple ATMs from across the metroplex. The suspects were arrested and charged with second-degree felony theft.
Another criminal trend seen in Texas lately has been that of jugging, where thieves wait outside banks and either confront individuals in the parking lot or follow them to a new location to rob them, as previously reported in The Dallas Express.
Yet in Dallas, most incidences of theft have targeted motor vehicles, with 11,104 reports of theft from vehicles and 15,690 of auto theft logged by the authorities as of October 31, according to the City of Dallas’ crime analytics dashboard. The latter has seen a year-over-year increase of over 40% year-to-date, with Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia citing staffing difficulties as making this notoriously difficult-to-solve crime even more challenging to tackle.
A previous analysis by the City of Dallas indicated that an estimated 4,000 officers would be needed to adequately manage crime in the city. However, there are currently just under 3,200 on staff.