Update: Westlake ATM Thefts, Additional Suspect Arrested
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
- Faith Breaux, 27, Beaumont, Texas
Between September 23 and 26 they were all apprehended and arrested and 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.
After further investigation, detectives learned Michael L. Cupp, 44, Dayton, Texas, the leader of the B*EAST Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, was also involved in the ATM thefts. CPSO VCIU detectives along with FBI Beaumont and Dayton Police Department located and arrested Cupp on Tuesday, November 12. He was booked into Liberty County Jail in Texas and charged with racketeering. His bond is set at $15,000.
There could be more charges as the investigation continues.