Business Owners Fuming Over ATM Thieves Tormenting South Louisiana
Cecilia, LA (KPEL News) - These thieves are smart. The team of at least two have been evading law enforcement in south Louisiana for the last few months, and business owners are fuming over the methods they use when they steal an ATM.
St. Landry Parish Public Information Officer Eddie Thibodeaux says they are currently working seven of these crimes that happened over the last two months.
The problem isn't singular to St. Landry Parish. Law enforcement in five Acadiana parishes have these criminals on their radars: Acadia, St. Martin, Lafayette, Evangeline, and St. Landry. Thibodeaux says similar crimes are being reported across the country.
In the early morning hours of January 24, 2024, T-Couchon in Cecilia fell victim, and the owner is fuming mad and begging the public to help find them.
The same thing happened early Wednesday morning at a convenience store in Church Point. We don't know yet if it's the same thieves, but the clothing they are wearing and their MO are definitely similar.
These guys are methodical.
They steal a vehicle, usually a truck or something heavy duty, that is locked. When law enforcement finds the stolen vehicle, they can tell it's been hot-wired.
They use that vehicle for different reasons. They've used the stolen vehicles to bust through the front of buildings, or they hook a chain to the ATM to yank it out because most of them are bolted down. In some cases, they use an object like a crowbar to break the glass on a business.
They then dump the vehicle, like they did with the dually pictured below.
Law enforcement officials say these criminals are savvy. They cover their hands and faces so that identifying them is nearly impossible with only surveillance cameras.
Businesses that are hit suffer significant financial damage. The ATM and all of the money is gone, and they are left to deal with repairs to their stores.
St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz says he's devised a plan that might help catch them.
Anyone with information about any of these crimes is asked to call law enforcement or Crime Stoppers in your area.
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