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ST. LOUIS COUNTY • FBI agents interrupted an interstate ring of thieves linked to robberies of nearly $250,000 from people servicing ATM machines as the thieves were targeting a technician in St. Louis County, federal court charging documents filed Saturday say.

At least one of the four men arrested in St. Louis had committed two robberies in Texas, one in Chicago and one in Orlando since June, charging documents claim.

The four men were in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Wednesday for an hours-long hearing about the evidence in the case. All face a charge of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by robbery.

The St. Louis County arrests are part of a larger investigation by the FBI and police in Dallas and Houston of a dramatic increase in robberies of ATM technicians that began in August 2017.

Investigators blame the robberies on Houston’s Money Street Market Gang, according to an affidavit written by FBI Special Agent Michael Christian and filed in support of the St. Louis County charges. Nine Money Street members have been indicted on federal charges since August 2018, Christian wrote.

The robbers locate an ATM technician and follow that person in multiple vehicles until they see an opportunity to knock down the worker and steal money while the ATM is open, the charges say. There is no mention in charging documents of any weapons.

One of the men arrested here, Cyrus Ray McQuarn, 31, has been linked to a June 7 robbery in San Antonio that netted about $72,000, an Aug. 9 robbery in Chicago totaling $102,391, a Sept. 13 robbery in Dallas of $34,903 and an Oct. 8 robbery in Orlando of $33,620, Christian wrote. The men were also tracked to Columbia, S.C., where they appeared to be watching several banks, he wrote.

Investigators were electronically tracking phones and culling toll booth records and license plate recognition systems for information on the group’s movements, Christian wrote, and tracked the men to St. Louis on Thursday.

On Friday, FBI agents contacted an ATM technician who was at Reliance Bank at 5401 South Lindbergh Boulevard, near the location of the robbers’ phones, Christian wrote. They told the technician to go to a restaurant, then watched as the phones followed. The technician went to a QuikTrip, and one phone followed, he wrote.

Agents then told the technician to go to an Outback Steakhouse, and arrested the four men in two vehicles who showed up shortly after, Christian wrote.

McQuarn and Deandre Markee Adams, 43, were in a red Chevy Malibu with a camouflage mask on the back seat, Christian wrote. Leslie James Adams, 26, and Tyrone Christopher Goree, 35, were in a rented Nissan Versa.

Defense attorneys either couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday or declined to comment on a pending case.

Robert Patrick is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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