Center Police arrest suspects at site of attempted ATM theft

Arrested pair are also suspects in area vehicle burglaries

Center Police Officers made two arrests over the weekend in connection with the attempted theft of an ATM machine and vehicle burglaries in Center.

The suspects are also believed to be connected with a well-organized Houston area ring of thefts involving ATMs, according to Lt. Jeremy Bittick.

The circumstances leading up to the arrests began when Center Police Department officers responded about 5:30 a.m., on Saturday, Oct. 17, to Center Automotive in reference to a report by a concerned citizen there was suspicious activity, Bittick said.

The caller believed that two individuals may have been breaking into a vehicle on the property. Officers arrived and were unable to locate anyone on the property but they found a truck with the engine still running.

Corporal S. Thornburgh, while in route to assist his officers, observed a gold colored Ford F-250 truck backed up to an ATM located at 111 Selma Street at Shelby Savings Bank.

Thornburgh made contact with an unknown individual to investigate the suspicious activity. Bittick said the individual immediately began to run.

After a brief foot pursuit the suspect was taken into custody. Thornburgh observed several tools used to break into the machine as well as a chain and a tow hook attached to the rear of the truck.

Thornburgh then contacted the Center Police Department's Street Crimes Division to respond and assist with the investigation.

Detective Sgt. R. King arrived to process the scene and interview suspects who were already in custody.

After lengthy interviews it was found that this attempted ATM theft was one of many that were suspected to be connected to a large group of individuals from the Houston area, Bittick said.

“This investigation is on-going and there are several felony arrest warrants pending,” he said. “The agencies with proper jurisdiction are communicating and will continue to investigate.”

Paul Benjamin Madison, white male, 18, was arrested for theft of property (felony 2, theft of property, state jail felony and evading arrest (M-B).

Also arrested was Robert Washington, black male, 19, who was involved in the thefts.

Both individuals were the suspects in burglaries of motor vehicles in the city as well, Bittick said.

The Light and Champion

137 San Augustine St.
Center TX 75935