$10K stolen from electric bill drop boxes in string of TN payment center robberies

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Cops from Clarksville to Centerville, to Jackson to Ashland City are all on the lookout for a crowbar bandit who pries open cash boxes at electric company payment centers.

The most recent crimes in this brazen crime spree happened on September 13, around 4:15 a.m. in Ashland City. That’s when police say a slender bandit in an Under Armor Hoodie, and wearing a mask and gloves, pulled a crowbar from his pants and pried open the cash machine door at the Cumberland Electric Membership Corp (CEMC) on North Main Street in Ashland City.

After less than 2 minutes, he stuffed his pockets with thousands in cash and runs away.

According to police, 40 minutes later, the same man showed up at the Cumberland Electric Membership Corp. Payment Center on Madison Street in Clarksville, Tennessee. The bandit takes more cash here and drives away in a dark-colored, four-door sedan.

Back in Ashland City, police arrived, to find some money left behind and a lot of damage.

Det. Bill Powers dusted the area for prints, but the bandit wore gloves. “He seems to be a pro,” said Powers. “This is not his first rodeo.”

News 2 has learned that between July and now a bandit matching the same description as the Ashland City crowbar bandit broke into the Meriwether Lewis Electric Corp in Centerville in Hickman County.

Police say the same man is suspected of striking twice at electric corps in Jackson, Tennessee in Madison County in West Tennessee.

“He is making easy cash in a short amount of time,” said Det. Powers.

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Julie Wallace, the Communication Coordinator for Cumberland EMC says CEMC’s seven kiosk locations are currently operational for members paying with credit/debit cards. “We are not currently accepting cash at any of our payment kiosks, but we do plan to re-enable cash payments in the future. The accounts of the members that made cash payments will be credited accordingly.”

In addition to the kiosk locations, CEMC offers many no-fee options to members including monthly EFT, online payments via SmartHub, mailed payments, or in-person payments at any of the seven district business office locations.

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