Possibly linked, Dallas, Lowndes, Mosses law enforcement investigating ATM burglaries

Published 1:55 pm Thursday, June 29, 2017

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

A Dallas County business suffered thousands of dollars worth of damage last Wednesday morning after a truck smashed through the front of the store and stole an ATM. And law enforcement officials say a similar crime was committed at the Mosses Meat Market and at the Hayneville AG in Lowndes County.

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Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams and Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell believe a crime ring could be involved.

Captain Mike Granthum with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said Z-Tec General Store in Safford was broken into sometime between closing Tuesday night (June 27) around 8 p.m. and 4:30 a.m. Wednesday morning (June 28) when an employee arrived to open up for the day.

The truck and the ATM were both left behind. The truck is believed to be stolen out of Montgomery from a propane company near the Montgomery Regional Airport.

Granthum said the Montgomery Police Department is investigating the theft of the truck, while they (Dallas Sheriff’s Department) are investigating the burglary.

A similar incident happened at a store in Lowndes County during the same time frame, where a vehicle was used to smash open the front of a store. While it is unclear at this point if they are connected, Granthum said it seems like more than just a coincidence.

“We don’t think it’s the same truck, but we’re not sure if it’s the same people,” Granthum said. “There’s a lot of resemblance to the way the crime was done. They were done both the same way and basically around the same time.”

Jeremy Marvin of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that an ATM machine was stolen from the Mosses Meat Market on Tuesday night, June 27.

Marvin said, “On Tuesday evening (June 27), some unknown person or persons ran a vehicle through the rear of the Mosses Meat Market. While inside of the business, they stole the ATM machine that was inside.”

Marvin said, “It is unknown if this particular burglary is related to the Montgomery and Dallas County burglaries. Montgomery and Dallas Counties have not contacted our office in reference to this particular burglary.”

He said, “If anyone has any information on this particular incident, we urge them to come forward and help. They can remain anonymous if they wish. They can contact our office at 334-548-2151 or 334-548-2323.”

However, Hayneville Police Chief Kelvin Mitchell said a break in occurred at the Hayneville AG occurred on June 6 in which the suspects “took their truck and backed into the store the same way they did in Mosses and they attempted to take the ATM machine.”

When asked if he believed the two crimes were related, Mitchel said, “I do.”

Mitchell said no one has been caught at the present time, but said, “It is an active open investigation.”

He said the incident in Hayneville and the incident in Mosses were separate, and the Hayneville case is his, as chief of police. But he said the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and his Department are working together because, “We think they are tied together.”

Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams agrees.

Mitchell said the truck involved in the Mosses and Hayneville case “appears to be the same truck,” that it “appears to be a white (Ford) F-250.” But he said, ‘it could be a Chevrolet.”

He confirmed information that in the Hayneville case two men dressed in black with their faces covered got out of the truck, went into the store and tried to physically rock the ATM out of the ground.

Mitchell also confirmed “Over $10,000 worth” of damages were done to the Hayneville store, that the burglars stayed in the building for about 15 seconds and “didn’t touch anything but the ATM.”

Williams said of the burglaries, “There is a lot of damage. It’s hurting the businesses because they are doing more damage than they are getting out of there.”

He also said that it was possible that a crime ring is involved.

Blake Deshazo of The Selma Times-Journal contributed to this article.