BETHALTO, Ill. – The number of ATM thefts are growing in Bethalto, Illinois. Police chief from the Bethalto Police Department warns would-be thieves to stay away from the St. Louis region.

“They are stealing millions and millions of dollars in cash, and they can do it in two minutes,” said Bethalto Police Chief Mike Dixon.  

In February 2021, two thieves stole an ATM from Liberty Bank on West Bethalto Drive. A year later, in March, Associated Bank, across the street from Liberty Bank, was targeted.  

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“They just ripped it right out of the concrete,” said Rodney Neuner, who works at a nearby business. “They just took their truck, hooked it up, and (drove away).”   

Dixon said the problem with a crime like this is how hard it can be to catch the suspects. They use stolen vehicles, wear masks and gloves, and use throwaway phones. Thieves also target areas they do not live in. Several thieves associated with these types of crimes have been tied to Houston, Texas.  

The Bethalto Police Department, FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Illinois were able to indict and convict one of the suspects connected to the ATM theft at Liberty Bank.  

The suspect, Tremaine Mike of Houston, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Sept. 29.  

As Dixon warns others about the crime, his police department continues to investigate the theft at Associated Bank.  

“Stay away from the St. Louis region because these prosecutors and these investigators in this region are diligent, and they will not stop until they hold you accountable for your acts,” Dixon said.