SABINE PARISH, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Both Louisiana and Texas law enforcement agencies believe a large criminal organization has targeted ATM locations across the south over the last two years, and they say similar heists Saturday night in Sabine Parish and Hemphill, Texas, may be related.

The Sabine Parish Sheriff’s Office says someone tried to break into the Bank of Montgomery ATM at the Toledo Bend Pharmacy on LA Highway 6 west of Many just before 2 a.m. Saturday. No money was taken. Surveillance video captured the suspect truck, a tan, four-door Ford F250.

Police were alerted after a passerby noticed the ATM doors were forced open around 5 a.m. Sunday.

Deputies say the arm designed to prevent access to the ATM doors was moved and the doors were pried open. It appeared that a cutting torch was used to cut the arm.

The Ford F250 believed to have been used in the apparently aborted heist was found a few hours later on a lease area on Pilcher Road, just off Louisiana Highway 191.  Investigators learned the truck was stolen Saturday night from Mark’s Wholesale Tires on Texas Highway in Many.

The Many Police Department along with the SPSO have combined forces in the investigation and continue to collect evidence.  The sheriff’s office says there was also an ATM heist at the Sabine Bank in Hemphill, Texas Friday night. The suspect(s) vehicle was left at the scene and an unknown amount of cash was taken.

The sheriff’s office says there are similarities in both the Sabine Parish and Hemphill capers, as well as a November 2020 smash and grab at the Bank of Montgomery ATM on U.S. Highway 171 in Many.  

In that case, the vehicle used was left at the scene, and an unknown amount of cash was taken.

A person or persons of interest were never developed in the latter robbery, nor have any persons of interest been developed in the overnight robberies.