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ATM theft in St. Francois County may be linked to national ring, officials say

ATM theft in St. Francois County may be linked to national ring, officials say


Updated at 8:45 p.m. to include suspect names and charges. 

DESLOGE, Mo. — The break-in and theft of cash from an ATM here may be linked to a nationwide ring that has attacked ATMs in Missouri, Kansas and other states, officials said Tuesday.

Three men and a woman were arrested after a brief standoff early Tuesday, said an official with the St. Francois Sheriff's Department.

The suspects — Katryn Barrett-Nakkella, 30, Tavarius Washington, 31, Jermaine Phillips, 30, and Walter Dallas, 32 — are from Houston. They are each charged with felony stealing, felony property damage and tampering with a motor vehicle. 

The suspects stole a Ford 250 and used it to break into an ATM at Belgrade State Bank just after 3 a.m., sheriff's officials said Tuesday. After taking the cash boxes from the ATM, they drove off, abandoning the truck about a block away and switching to a white Nissan Altima, they said.

Bonne Terre police stopped the Altima as it was driving north on Highway 67, the department said, and recovered the cash and arrested the men without incident after a "short stand-off."

Desloge police, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI were also involved, officials said.

In July, federal prosecutors in western Missouri announced the indictment and arrest of six Houston men that they said were part of a nationwide ATM theft ring. Prosecutors say the men have used stolen pickup trucks to break into ATMs. The ring then takes canisters of cash from inside the machines.

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