4 Texas men face federal charges after series of ATM thefts in Middle Tennessee


Four Houston, Texas men are facing federal charges after a lengthy investigation by the FBI into a series of Automated Teller Machine (ATM) thefts in middle Tennessee, Courtesy U.S. Attorney-Nashville

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Four men from Houston, Texas are facing federal charges after a series of ATM thefts in Middle Tennessee.

According to a release from U.S. Attorney Mary Jane Stewart for the Middle District of Tennessee, Elijah Diaz, 19; Troy Alan Parker, 18; Willie Charles White, 21; and Abraham Woods, 32, were all arrested on April 26. They were taken into custody at a hotel in Holladay, Tennessee. All of the men were charged with conspiracy and bank larceny after authorities said they stole from an ATM machine in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee just hours earlier.

According to the criminal complaint, for more than a year, the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force in Nashville has been investigating ATM thefts.

On April 4, 2021, an ATM theft happened at a Wilson Bank & Trust in Murfreesboro. Two suspects wearing dark clothing and ski masks were captured on surveillance video arriving at the bank around 1:14 a.m. in a Chevrolet 2500 pickup.

The suspects could be seen prying open the ATM and used the chain and hooks to force the safe open. They then took cash and left the scene.

Investigators determined the same vehicle used in this theft was stolen on April 3. After reviewing surveillance footage just hours before the crime, detectives identified a black Dodge Durango with a Texas license plate and the driver appeared to be casing the machine.

FBI officials were also coordinating with ATM theft investigations with the FBI Houston Office and the Houston Police Department Major Offenders Criminal Apprehension Team. The video was shared with Houston law enforcement, leading authorities to identify White as the driver of the Durango.

Investigators also discovered that Murfreesboro police had conducted a traffic stop involving the same vehicle on April 2, 2021. They identified both Diaz and Parker as the occupants of the Durango. Officers also noticed crowbars and chains in the back of the car.

On April 25, 2021, Houston law enforcement informed the FBI in Nashville that White and others were in the area preparing for an ATM theft.

Around 2:27 a.m. on April 26, an ATM theft happened at the Wilson Bank & Trust in Mount Juliet. Surveillance cameras captured a person in a hooded sweatshirt prying open the outside of the machine while another person in the stolen pickup truck attached hooks to the safe and drove forward. This caused the safe to rip open. Both individuals then left the scene with the cash from the ATM. The stolen pickup truck was found abandoned in Wilson County and contained several money cartridges from an ATM, $20 bills and crowbars.

Investigators said after reviewing surveillance video preceding the theft, they saw a black Dodge Durango casing the ATM around 9:35 p.m. the previous night.

During the morning of April 26, the Durango was found at the Days Inn Hotel near I-40 in Holladay, Tennessee. Shortly after, Diaz, Parker, White and Woods were all arrested. Investigators found more than $88,000 in cash. They also discovered that the four had stayed at the Westin Hotel when they arrived in Nashville prior to carrying out the ATM theft. Authorities recovered surveillance photos of the men and the vehicles used, including the Durango.

If convicted, they face up to ten years in prison. The FBI is continuing to investigate ATM thefts across the region. If you have any information related to the crimes, contact the Nashville FBI Office at 615-732-7500.

The release also states that a criminal complaint is merely an accusation, all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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