Valentine’s Day ATM Heist Goes Awry in West St. Paul

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If your Valentine’s Day plans include renting a truck so you can do some crime, you might need to reevaluate.

Ario Stephens, 21 and Kirkston Smith, 28, both of Houston, Texas, are facing charges after using a rented U-Haul pickup truck to try to rob a Wells Fargo ATM in West St. Paul after midnight on February 14.

According to Fox 9:

Stephens said they attached a chain to the U-Haul and hooked it to the ATM. They accelerated to try and pull the ATM apart to gain access, but they failed and left the scene.

The heist seems to have failed, according to Smith, because “Stephens usually used diesel pickups because they have enough torque to pry the ATM open.”

According to the criminal complaint, “Stephens is a prolific thief and known for stealing ATMs.” The day before, he stole a chain and hook from a tool store and rented the pickup from a U-Haul in Plymouth with a fake ID.

They made it as far as the West Metro (to return the truck?) before police caught up to the two suspects in a chase involving the Edina, Minnetonka, and Plymouth police departments. After driving over two snowbanks, jumping a concrete median, and turning off the truck’s headlines to evade detection, the suspects ultimately parked and fled on foot, only to be tracked down with the help of a K9 unit.

The ATM had over $5,000 in it at the time of the attempted heist. Repairs will likely cost between $40,000 and $50,000.

No word on if the suspects will get their rental deposit back.

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