Authorities investigating crime spree from Mineola to Winnsboro to Hawkins
Just this morning, Mineola police say the men broke into the Wood County National Bank and attempted to steal an ATM. An hour later, police say the men who were armed drove into a Hawkins convenience store and tried to steal a safe there. Today, KLTV 7's Danielle Capper describes their recent path, and why authorities need your help.
Our cameras arrived as Gilmer police this afternoon found stolen vehicles used in crimes just last night.
"The Yukon was used inside the Mineola on a attempt burglary," said JL Miller with the Winnsboro police.
Stolen from Winnsboro early Wednesday morning, and when officers found the car, they also discovered a safe, taken from a Winnsboro Sonic.
This video shows the masked men at the Wood County National Bank in Mineola this morning. They attempted to hook the ATM to the back of their stolen SUV.
But the chain broke, and they left.
You can also see a possible rifle on the back of one of the men.
Police believe they left Mineola and came to a convenience store in Hawkins. They drove the vehicle into the door shattering the glass, but the alarm went off before they could get the ATM.
"We have determined these are probably linked. When we continually find stolen vehicles from other counties in the city of Gilmer, it just furthers that belief," said Roxanne Warren, a Gilmer police investigator.
Police believe the crime spree started in January, with robberies or attempted robberies at 3 Brookshire's grocery stores in Gilmer, Overton, and Hawkins.
Each time, the the thieves have the same MO.
"The common denominator in most of these crimes, committed at night when stores or businesses are closed. The actors use stolen vehicles to crash through the front or back of the business where they burglarize the safe or take a safe," said Investigator Warren.
Multiple agencies are involved, and hope to have a meeting soon.
For now, they are processing the stolen cars for evidence, but warn us these men are dangerous.
"Sometimes it takes time but eventually we will apprehend and prosecute these individuals," said Warren.
Authorities from each of the affected departments say they need your help. If you've seen anything or have any information on the crimes, give them a call.