Three brothers arrested in ATM thefts

March 19, 2009 3:24:38 PM PDT
With the arrest of three brothers, authorities said dozens of crimes in and around Harris County may be solved including one murder. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Investigators said this is one of the largest theft rings they have busted in some time. Police arrested three brothers Wednesday night. Mark, Melvin, and Michael Cupp are all charged in a series of 18 thefts along with three acquaintances who investigators believe were their accomplices.

Deputies said evidence linked the Cupp brothers to nine thefts but they said there could be as many as 25-30 in Harris County. They also said they are working in conjunction with the FBI, Pasadena police, and Houston police. There may be a few dozen more in the city limits of Houston.

The brothers started in 2006 and used stolen forklifts and pickup trucks to commit the crimes. They said the method of operation was almost the same in every crime, like a script.

"The effort that they went to, to pick out the locations that they were going to hit, that really stands out," said Sgt. Jeff Stauber of the Harris County Sheriff's Office. "A lot of times they would hit where banks were close to construction sites, therefore, they would have access to front-end loaders or a forklift."

Mark Cupp, 30, is facing an additional charge of murder that stems from a case involving a victim found floating in the San Jacinto River in February. It is still an ongoing investigation.

Investigators said the brothers could face additional charges and there could be more arrests.

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