Attempted theft of ATM goes awry; Houston man charged

  • Bank ATM

OKLAHOMA CITY – An indictment was handed down in federal district court here in the attempted theft of an ATM from a bank in Edmond.

Brandan William Gonzales, 27, of Houston, Texas, faces two counts in the Western District federal court, including attempted bank larceny. He also is accused of conspiracy to commit bank larceny, although

Gonzales is the only person charged with the alleged crime. The incident occurred at approximately 6 a.m. on November 12 when someone using a chain attached to a pickup attempted to rip the door off an Oklahoma State Bank ATM. However, the entire machine – still attached to its concrete base – came out of the ground because the soil was so soft, according to Edmond Police Department spokeswoman Emily Ward.

The ATM’s door was “damaged extensively” and the entire machine “tilted over to the front,” preventing full access to the money box, Edmond police wrote.

An officer responded to an ATM alarm call from the bank, and “the suspect was leaving as our officer arrived,” Ward said.

The police patrol officer gave chase to the suspect, and footage from a dash camera showed the motorist running red lights, driving over the median and making four U-turns. “Several people were already on their way to work at that time, so what the driver was doing was pretty dangerous,” Ward said.

Eventually the driver stopped the truck in a private parking lot “and bailed on foot,” the pursuing officer wrote. Another police officer located and arrested Gonzales soon after in a wooded area near Edmond’s Santa Fe High School, the police incident report relates.

The suspect is a member of “a known organization” from Houston that “travels the country, burglarizing ATMs,” Ward said. “Their M.O. [distinct method of operation] is to steal a larger Ford truck, attach a chain to it, wrap it around the ATM, pull the doors off the ATM, take the cash, then ditch the truck,” she said.

Edmond police later learned that the 2007 F-250-model Ford pickup driven by the suspect was stolen from an Oklahoma City company.

Gonzales remained in custody as of Nov. 17, his bond set at $25,000, court records show.