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Four men charged in ATM thefts

December 17, 2005|By PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY -

Four men arrested Thursday in Virginia were charged in connection with a multistate ATM theft ring, placing Washington County investigators on the waiting list to see whether the men are linked to two ATM thefts here.

Jarvis L. Brooks, 30; Stephen L. Cure, 22; Tracy D. Fletcher; 29; and Eugene J. Jenkins Jr., 22, all of Bowie, Md., were charged in Spotsylvania County, Va. with grand larceny, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools, according to a story in The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va. They all were being held without bond at the Rappahannock Regional Jail, The Free Lance-Star reported.

A 2001 Chevrolet Impala that had been broadcast as allegedly linked to the spree was spotted Thursday about 1:20 a.m. in the Massaponax area in Virginia by Spotsylvania County Street Crime Unit members, prompting the FBI and other detectives to follow the car, The Free Lance-Star reported.

The men allegedly were observed popping the ignition to a 1998 Plymouth van and casing out local banks before they were arrested, according to The Free Lance-Star story.

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Masked men who used stolen pickup trucks were involved in thefts at two Hagerstown Trust ATMs - one on Wesel Boulevard on Sept. 15 and another on Jefferson Boulevard on Nov. 4. The trucks were used to pull open those banks' island-type ATMs and steal the money they contained, according to published reports.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Lt. Mark Knight and Hagerstown Police Department Lt. Michael King both said Friday that they are ready to see if the men are connected with those thefts.

"We're very interested in these people at this time," King said.

Knight said he is interested in the men as suspects, but wasn't sure when he would get a chance to speak with them or whether the FBI will take over the investigation into the thefts, which the Free Lance-Star reported included 32 ATM thefts in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia and netted more than $1 million.

Richard Wolf, an FBI spokesman in Baltimore, said he could not comment about whether the FBI will take over the investigation into the thefts, but confirmed that four men were arrested in Virginia in connection with the theft spree.

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