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Tyler ATM theft suspects in custody

TYLER, March 14, 2014-- At 4:55, on Thursday afternoon, the second suspect in the morning’s attempted ATM theft at Kelly Federal Credit Union on Highway 31 West, Winston Barnes, age 25, was taken into custody at a residence at 506 Ferguson, in Lindale, by Smith County Sheriff's Deputies.

Barnes was arrested on three warrants: Unlawful Use of a Criminal Instrument - Third Degree Felony; Theft of Property - Less Than $200,000 (ATM) - Second Degree Felony; and Evading Arrest - Class A Misdemeanor.

The first suspect, Steven Prior, age 35, was arrested Thursday morning after a brief search and faces the same charges.

The arrests stem from a call received Thursday, at approximately 2:41 a.m., when a 911 caller reported that they were observing two men who were using what appeared to be a cutting torch on the outdoor ATM machine at the Kelly Federal Credit Union on Highway 31 West.

Multiple Smith County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the call and both men fled. Assistance was requested from the Tyler Police Department and three units responded.

During the search, Prior was found hiding behind a nearby business and was arrested. After a two-hour search, the second man was not found and the search was suspended. The first man was taken to the Sheriff’s Office and interviewed.

“I want to praise the citizen who called in this attempted ATM theft,” said Sheriff Larry Smith. “This individual saw something and immediately called it in and then stayed on the line with us to tell us what they were seeing, which was instrumental in us catching the first individual and I’m sure will help us find the second individual. I am grateful for Smith County citizens like this person who are willing to assist law enforcement in keeping everyone safe.”

The SCSO wants to thank the Tyler PD, Lindale PD, East Texas Auto Theft Task Force and Smith County CID and Patrol for doing an outstanding job. The SCSO expects other burglaries to be cleared from this investigation.

KYYK's Gary Richards spoke with Smith County Sheriff's Office Public Information Officer John Moore about the case. Click below for more.

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