TANEY COUNTY, Mo. — Four people have been arrested and charged with felonies after an ATM was broken into in Branson.
Each of the four men is charged with one felony count of stealing $25,000 or more. They are:
- Bryce Malik Jones, 26, of Houston, Texas.
- Deaunjae K Lampkins, 22, of Missouri City, Texas.
- Nathanial Cameron Waits, 23, of Houston, Texas.
- Vinson E Gonzalez, 23, of Cypress, Texas.
According to court documents, on May 19, Branson Police Officers responded to a commercial burglary alarm at the Branson Bank on Gretna Road. When they arrived, they found an exterior free-standing ATM had been broken into.
The ensuing investigation showed that $36,120 had been taken from the machine, which suffered $60,000 in damages.
Near the scene, officers found a running Ford F-250 abandoned. Its ignition had been tampered with. Through the bank’s surveillance cameras, officers saw the truck used in the theft.
The owner was contacted and they told police it had been stolen. Inside the truck, officers found pry bars, chains and J-hooks that were used to get into the ATM.
The security footage showed three men leave the F-250 with masks on and break open the ATM with the pry bars. They then used the J-hooks and chains to attach the truck to the ATM and break it open so that they could steal the money.
Through other surveillance cameras, officers saw a 2019 Chevrolet Equinox traveling through the area around the time of the theft. This vehicle led investigators to believe that this theft was connected to related incidents in the area.
The investigators were able to pinpoint the Equinox in Houston, Texas at 11 a.m. on May 18 and in Branson at 11:30 p.m. the same day. It was found to be a rental with a GPS tracker from Houston. Using that tracker information, Texas’ Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office were able to stop the Equinox. Jones and three others were found inside.
“We called in our investigations unit, our detective, and he pretty quickly remembered that he had received some information that there was crews coming up from Texas to do exactly this,” said Eric Schmitt, Branson Police Chief.
A vehicle search resulted in a black backpack with $36,090 inside.
“I am very proud of the excellent and expedited work of our officers that led to the arrest of these suspects within hours of the crimes in Branson. This case highlights our Department’s dedication and serves as notice to those considering committing crimes here. While Branson has a ‘small town’ atmosphere, the Police Department has the capabilities and drive to successfully pursue and apprehend criminals, wherever they may flee.”Eric Schmitt, Branson Police Chief
Schmitt said two of the four suspects had outstanding warrants from other states, including a similar heist near Chicago.
The four were being held at the Montgomery County Jail as of May 22.