It took three years and officers from at least five different law enforcement agencies, but it looks like they finally nabbed the ATM crooks who used and then left fork-lifts behind as an odd sort of a calling card.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office announced today that three brothers - Mark, Melvin and Michael Cupp - have been arrested in connection with a rash of ATM thefts that began in late 2006. The men allegedly stole forklifts and used them to remove and then load ATMs into stolen pick-up trucks. The brothers are suspected in at least nine ATM thefts and possibly several more.
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Melvin and Michael Cupp were arrested early Thursday morning in a hotel room in Humble. Youngest brother Mark, was arrested late Wednesday in Channelview, according to the sheriff's department. In addition to the theft related charges, Mark Cupp has also been charged with murder stemming from the death of a man found floating in the San Jacinto River on February 15. (Which, we guess, is more serious if not quite as redneck-crazy as running a forklift-ATM cabal.)
When police began finding forklifts at the scene of ATM thefts three years ago, a multi-agency investigation involving the Harris County and Fort Bend sheriff's offices, the police departments in Houston and Pasadena, plus the FBI, began.
Today, the officers can begin loosening the cork in the champagne. Not only did they arrest the brothers Cupp, the suspected ringleaders, but three other, unidentified men, were also arrested in connection with the thefts.
Somehow we don't see a movie deal coming out of this. Unless it involves that Git-R-Done guy.