1 arrested in connection with ATM theft; machine, cash, tools recovered

Henry Hampton, 48, charged with theft of an ATM

By Katrina Webber - Crime Fighters Reporter, Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - San Antonio police arrested a man in connection with the theft of an ATM early Friday morning.

Henry Hampton, 48, is charged with theft of an ATM; however, police believe more people were involved.

The money machine was discovered missing around 4:45 a.m. Friday from Pioneer Bank in the 900 block of East Basse Road.

Officers at the scene said they had received a call about an alarm going off, indicating the machine was being stolen.

When they arrived within about five minutes, the machine and the people who stole it were gone.

Parked next to the bare spot that once held the ATM was an abandoned tractor with its engine still running.

Police said that as in other ATM theft cases, the crooks had used stolen construction equipment to knock the machine off its base.

About two hours later, a passerby reported a suspicious vehicle, and police found the stolen machine inside the U-Haul truck. SAPD spokeswoman Michelle Ramos said all of the money was still inside the ATM.

“He saw a male in an orange or a yellow shirt flee, due west, right into the woods. And so we immediately set up a perimeter,” said Sgt. Steven Bratina, with SAPD.

Officers searched the area near Loop 1604 and Interstate 10 and arrested Hampton. Ramos did not say whether Hampton was the person seen running from the U-Haul.

“More than likely, more than one person was involved,” Bratina said. “Whether his getaway driver was able to pick him up and take him out of here, we don't know.”

Ramos said they found a suspect at a nearby motel, but that individual has not been charged. Police said Hampton told them he was visiting from the Houston area. 

Ramos said the crime appeared to be an organized effort that took extensive planning.

It's unclear whether Hampton is linked to any other ATM crimes in Texas. Ramos said that this appears to be Hampton's first offense in Bexar County.

As Hampton was walked out of the Prue substation in handcuffs Friday afternoon, he told KSAT he was innocent.

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