Five Arrested & Warrants Issued for Two Suspects for Area ATM Thefts
According to a media release from the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office, after deputies were dispatched to Sampson Street in Westlake on the morning of Saturday, July 13, in regards to an alarm call, what they discovered was that an ATM had been stolen from the bank parking lot. Detectives learned the suspects used a stolen forklift, left at the scene, to load the ATM into a truck. Later the same day a truck, previously reported stolen, was recovered along with the stolen ATM in the bed, near State Street and Sheridan Street in Lake Charles. Through further investigation, detectives had learned hours before the ATM theft, the suspects stole the forklift from a business across the street from the bank where the theft occurred and had stolen the truck from a business on Westwood Road in Westlake.
A second similar incident presented itself weeks later on the morning of Saturday, August 3, when deputies, along with Westlake Police Department officers were dispatched to a bank on Sampson Street in Westlake in reference to a theft. Once law enforcement arrived they discovered the ATM in the bank parking lot was missing. A trailer and forklift were left in the parking lot. Investigators learned a trailer and a truck were stolen from a business on Highway 90 East in Lake Charles the night before the ATM theft. The forklift was stolen from a business on Candice Lane in Lake Charles around the same time the trailer and truck were stolen. Later the same day CPSO deputies were dispatched to Bayou D’Inde Pass in Sulphur in reference to a vehicle on fire. Deputies located the burnt truck, which was stolen from the business on Highway 90, along with a burned ATM, which was from the bank in Westlake.
Investigation of both incidents showed that the two ATM thefts were related, with the suspects stealing over $150,000 in total. Several members and affiliates of the Brother East (B*EAST) Outlaw Motorcycle Gang were identified as responsible for both thefts.
- Melvin Cupp, 46, Spring, Texas (outstanding warrant)
- Brandon Hightower, 33, Humble, Texas
- Hosea Owens IV, 28, Alvin, Texas
- Joshua Leroy Fontenot, 44, Denham Springs, LA (outstanding warrant)
- Christopher Scott, 44, Lake Jackson, Texas
- James Hicks, 33, Huffman, Texas
- Faith Breaux, 27, Beaumont, Texas
On September 23, the Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office along with the Houston Police Department, FBI, U.S. Marshal’s Office, ATF, FBI-Beaumont Branch, Beaumont Police Department, Port Arthur Police Department, Beaumont Fire & Medical, Texas Department of Criminal Justice Officer of Inspector General, Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Federal Bureau of Prisons and Texas DPS located and arrested Hightower, Owens, Scott, Hicks and Breaux. Cupp and Fontenot currently have warrants out for their arrest and are considered fugitives.
All are charged with theft of a motor vehicle over $25,000; theft of a motor vehicle $5,000 to $25,000; 2 counts of simple criminal damage to property $1,000 to $25,000; theft less than $5,000 over $1,000; 2 counts of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle; obstruction of justice; simple arson; 3 counts of criminal trespassing; 4 counts of unauthorized entry of a place of business; 4 counts of theft over $25,000; 4 counts of simple criminal damage to property; unauthorized entry of a critical infrastructure; and racketeering. Breaux’s bond is set at $263,000 and all other bonds at $600,000.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Cupp and Fontenot is asked to contact CPSO at 337.491.3605 or Crime Stoppers at 337.439.2222. Anyone who harbors or assists these fugitives in evading law enforcement may be arrested and charged accordingly.