Suspected ringleader tied to ATM thefts arrested, police say

HOUSTON – Houston Police made an arrest of a man believed to be involved in five ATM robberies over five days from Dec. 9-14.

Police said the robberies involved four to nine men, each at hotels listed below.

"He went in ahead of time and scouted the hotel before they made their entry," said Capt. Matt May with HPD's Robbery Division.

•    12/9/17 at 2:55 a.m.  - 15747 JFK Blvd. - DoubleTree Hotel
•    12/11/17 at 11:20 p.m. - 11230 Southwest Freeway - Frontier Hotel 
•    12/12/17 at 2:25 a.m. - 1750 West Loop South - Marriott Hotel
•    12/13/17 at 12:05 a.m. - 9975 Westheimer - Marriott Hotel
•    12/14/17 at 1:15 a.m. - 18700 JFK Blvd. - Marriott Hotel

Monday, investigators arrested 20-year-old Keltrin Stephens, a suspect, who they believe was a leader.

PHOTOS: Arrest made in ATM robberies

It was an investigation by the HPD Violent Offenders Robbery Task Force, which led to the identification of Stephens as a suspect in this case. He was arrested without incident in an apartment at 4500 Aldine Mail Route.  

Police said he is not cooperating.

Surveillance video of Stephens and the suspects robbing the ATM at the Frontier Hotel on the Southwest Freeway can be be viewed here: 

VIDEO: Surveillance video of suspects sought in multiple hotel ATM robberies

"This is a new pattern that we haven't really seen before going to a hotel picking them up and carrying them out...We believe this group found a weakness in these ATMs and they exploited them," said Capt. May.

"Stephens was arrested for three outstanding felony warrants, two misdemeanors and now felony theft of an ATM," said Capt. May.

KPRC was first to tell you about a rash of Apple products being stolen from office buildings in the Heights and Montrose areas. Police say Stephens was also involved in those cases.

"It was the same situation. They would come in and scope out the area. All they were after was Apple products. During that investigation, Stephens was arrested and charged in two of those cases--one of those cases turned into a robbery," Detective Ken Edie said.

Police said, in this case, they have identified other suspects but have not made arrests. Investigators have notified areas hotels, especially Marriott hotels in the area.

"We're asking our business partners in the area, especially hotels to be extra vigilant," May said.

Anyone with information in this case or on the identity of the wanted suspects is urged to contact the HPD Robbery Division at 713-308-0700 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.