Houston Man Sentenced for Tyler County ATM Burglary Attempt

Published 4:36 pm Monday, May 24, 2021

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BEAUMONT, Texas – A Houston man has been sentenced to prison for federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei today.

Aaron Lakeefe Rubins, 33, pleaded guilty on Jan. 14, 2021 to bank burglary and aiding and abetting and was sentenced to 24 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Michael J. Truncale.  Rubins was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,729.66.

“As if attempting to rob an ATM was not bad enough, the high-speed chase that this defendant and his co-conspirators engaged in endangered the lives of law enforcement and the public,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei. “Thankfully, law enforcement was able to bring the situation to a conclusion without any injury or loss of life.”

According to information presented in court, on March 4, 2020, law enforcement officers were alerted to an attempted theft of an ATM at the First National Bank in Woodville. A 911 caller reported a passenger car parked at an intersection just east of the bank with its hazard lights on and another car blocking an intersection just west of the bank. Additionally, a truck pulled into the bank’s parking lot and proceeded to back up to an ATM machine. Bank surveillance video shows the truck dragging a chain and three subjects exiting the truck, one with a crowbar.

Although the subjects were able to open the ATM and attach a chain to it, the truck was not able to drag away the ATM.  The subjects then got into a getaway car and a high-speed chase ensued that continued into Polk County, where spike strips were deployed.  The car struck a tree as it attempted to avoid the strips and two of the passengers ran away.  However, the rear seat passenger was taken into custody and identified as Aaron Lakeefe Rubins.  Rubins was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 3, 2020, and charged with federal violations.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Tyler County Sheriff’s Office and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Tommy L. Coleman.