SLIDELL, La. (AP) — A gang of thieves treated the Cash Cow check-cashing company as their own cash cow, making off with more than $500,000 from ATMs over the past year, police said Thursday.
Two of the thieves were caught fleeing early Sunday from a Cash Cow office in Slidell, Sgt. Daniel Seuzeneau said Thursday. The ring has struck nearly 100 times in and around New Orleans over the past year, frequently targeting the Cash Cow company and sometimes returning several times to the same location.
The thieves would first trigger the alarm system and watch police respond, Seuzeneau said. They would break in later, using power tools to steal ATMs or open safes, sometimes even stealing surveillance cameras.
Investigators figured out the pattern in part by checking surveillance video from nearby businesses.
The FBI and police in several cities and a couple of parishes "have been on high alert in recent months; going as far as conducting extra surveillance, in hopes of catching the suspects in the act."
Seuzeneau said Slidell Police Officer Jason Seals just happened to be nearby when an alarm went off about 4:30 a.m. Sunday at a Cash Cow office on Gause Boulevard. Seals arrived within seconds, saw two men fleeing and chased their pickup truck to New Orleans, he said.
The men barricaded themselves into a home in eastern New Orleans but surrendered after 30 minutes, he said, and police seized $12,000 in cash and the pickup, which was stolen.
Marvin Hudson, 36, and Allden Jones, 44, are being held in the St. Tammany Parish Jail on charges of burglary, aggravated flight from an officer and possession of a stolen vehicle, Seuzeneau said.
He said they are not cooperating with investigators.
Seuzeneau said investigators don't know if they are ringleaders, but believe they were "very deeply involved."
The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office has a warrant accusing them of burglary at a Slidell-area tobacco store, said George M. Bonnett Jr., the department's spokesman.