4 men charged in series of Michigan ATM thefts

On Feb. 6, the Detroit Police Department announced a specialized task force had arrested four men in connection with 17 automatic teller machine thefts throughout Metro Detroit. The thefts occurred in Canton Township, Dearborn, Detroit, Hamtramck, Inkster, Southfield and Oak Park between February 2013 and January 2015.

Authorities said the alleged thieves used stolen vans to smash through the front doors of buildings that housed ATM. Robbery locations included nine Secretary of State offices and a Walgreens drug store. A task force known as the Comprehensive Violence Reduction Partnership investigated the crimes. The group is composed of the Detroit Police, Dearborn Police, Michigan State Police, Michigan Department of Corrections and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Authorities said two male defendants were arrested in January, and two more were taken into custody on Feb. 5. when a series of search warrants was executed. Two of the men were identified as Detroit residents. The other two were not named. The warrants allegedly turned up multiple pieces of evidence tied to the thefts. Police said one of the defendants was observed with a handgun during one of the robberies. They did not indicate whether or not the firearm was seized in the raid.

The defendants were charged in federal court. Police said further arrests could be pending, but they believe the main culprits are in custody.

Federal theft charges can lead to severe consequences, including lengthy prison terms and steep fines, for those who are convicted. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult with a criminal defense attorney. An attorney could review the evidence against their client for inconsistencies and work to protect a defendant's civil rights throughout the legal process. In some cases, a lawyer may be able to negotiate for a plea bargain that mitigates some of the charges.

Source: MLive, " Smash-and-grab ATM theft ring busted by Detroit police and law enforcement partners," Gus Burns, Feb. 6, 2015