Iota, LA (KPEL News) - KPEL has published three stories this year about thieves who are stealing ATM machines across south Louisiana. Their footprint is spreading west with the latest reported in the small Acadia Parish town of Iota.

The crime spree got on our radar after two businesses in St. Landry Parish, including one in Sunset, were hit by the crew the week of January 15.

A week later, St. Landry Parish Public Information Officer Eddie Thibodeaux told us his department was working seven ATM thefts that had happened over the previous two months. The criminals were doing costly damage to the stores they were robbing because they gained entry to the front doors, breaking the glass. When they yanked out the machine, they dragged it by the chain through the store, destroying anything in its path.

ATM robbery
Facebook via T-Cochon
loading...

In early February, the crew of thieves got bolder and ripped the ATM from a bank parking lot in Iberia Parish. The truck they used was stolen from Lafayette Parish.

Thibodeaux told KPEL News that authorities in at least five Acadiana parishes were working similar crimes. The departments from Acadia, Iberia, St. Landry, St. Martin, and Evangeline are working together.

Crime Stoppers of Acadia Parish released information about the latest in the string of ATM burglaries brought to our attention.

While authorities aren't certain whether the same two people are committing the crimes, a crew is working the area two at a time, or two different people are the culprits, but they do believe the crimes and criminals are connected because the method is the same.

The two thieves steal a heavy duty vehicle, typically a pick-up truck. In the middle of the night, they use a chain hooked to the back of the truck to yank the machine from wherever it is. Then, they drive the truck to a very rural location, empty the ATM, and abandon the vehicle.

ATM Thieves
Crime Stoppers of Acadia Parish
loading...

These criminals are savvy. In each case, they use masks and other clothing to conceal their identity so that they can't be identified by security cameras.

The release from Acadia Crime Stoppers reads:

Deputies with the Acadia Parish Sheriff’s Office are investigating the burglary of an ATM machine at The Bank located in the 400 block of St. Joseph Ave in Iota. This incident occurred on February 22, 2024, at approximately 3:30 am.

 

 

Two unknown male subjects stole a Ford F250 work truck and used the stolen vehicle to commit this crime. The suspects used chains attached to the stolen vehicle to forcefully pull out the cash drawers once access was gained. The identity of the suspects were concealed by clothing and masks.

 

 

These types of crimes have been reported throughout Louisiana, indicating that this is an organized group working together to organize these burglaries.

 

If you have any information regarding this crime, you are urged to call the tips line at 789-TIPS or download our P3 App to report your tip. All callers will remain anonymous and can receive up to a $1,000 cash reward for information leading to an arrest in this case.

12 Signs That You Could Be a Victim of Identity Theft

Identity theft can happen so quickly, and potentially take so long to resolve. Keep an eye out for these 12 warning signs and maybe you can limit the damage done to your credit and your life.

Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell

Louisiana's 21 Most Wanted Criminals

While some of these have been missing for over 50 years and are likely deceased, many have escaped prison in the past 10 years and could likely still be in Louisiana so keep your eyes peeled and should you spot one of these criminals, immediately contact police.

More From Talk Radio 960 AM